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The Elected Member

The Elected Member

Norman is the clever one of a close-knit Jewish family in the East End of London. Infant prodigy; brilliant barrister; the apple of his parent’s eyes … until at forty-one he becomes a drug addict, confined to his bedroom, at the mercy of his hallucinations and paranoia.

For Norman, his committal to a mental hospital represents the ultimate act of betrayal. For Rabbi Zweck, Norman’s father, his son’s deterioration is a bitter reminder of his own guilt and failure.

Only Bella, the unmarried sister, still in her childhood white ankle socks, can reach across the abyss of pain to bring father and son the elusive peace which they both so desperately crave.

About the Author

Bernice Rubens

Bernice Rubens was born in Cardiff, Wales in July 1928. She began writing at the age of 35, when her children started nursery school.

Her second novel, Madame Sousatzka (1962), was filmed by John Schlesinger with Shirley MacLaine in the leading role in 1988. Her fourth novel, The Elected Member, won the 1970 Booker prize.

She was shortlisted for the same prize again in 1978 for A Five Year Sentence. Her last novel, The Sergeants’ Tale, was published in 2003. She was an honorary vice-president of International PEN and served as a Booker judge in 1986. Bernice Rubens died in 2004 aged 76.

Image of Bernice Rubens