Bernice Rubens was born is Wales and worked as both a writer and a film maker. She is the winner of the Booker Prize for The Elected Member, and was shortlisted for the same prize for a subsequent novel: A Five Year Sentence. She died in 2004.
Booker Prize Winner in 1970. Norman is the clever one of a rabbi's close-knit family in London's East End. Following the prodigious achievements of his childhood, he becomes a brilliant barrister, the apple of his parents' eyes. However, at the age of 41, he experiences a terrible fall from grace, becoming addicted to drugs and being confined to his room where he is prey to hallucinations and paranoia. Rubens explores the Old Testament notion of a family scapegoat, the elected member of the title, to brilliant effect; it is an idea also present in the work of R D Laing, the psychiatrist, one of her acknowledged influences. (Kirkus UK)