(1919-99) a British writer and philosopher, born in Dublin. Her clever novels explore complicated human and sexual relationships among 20th-century middle-class people, often with great humour. Among the best known are The Sandcastle (1957), A Severed Head (1961) and The Sea, The Sea (1978), which won the Booker Prize. Iris Murdoch suffered from Alzheimer's disease and the film Iris (2001) was based on a book about her last years written by her husband, John Bayley. She was made a dame in 1987.