Other books byJulian Barnes
Levels of Life
Julian Barnes, author of the Man Booker Prize–winning novel The Sense of an Ending, gives us his most powerfully moving book yet, beginning in the nineteenth century and leading seamlessly into an entirely personal account of loss—making Levels of Life an immediate classic on the subject of grief. Levels of Life is a book about ballooning, photography, love and loss; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded Barnes the 2011 Booker Prize described him as “an unparalleled magus of the heart.” This book confirms that opinion. “Spare and beautiful...a book of rare intimacy and honesty about love and grief. To read it is a privilege. To have written it is astonishing.” —Ruth Scurr, The Times of London “A remarkable narrative that is as raw in its emotion as it is characteristically elegant in its execution.” —Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
Nothing to Be Frightened Of
NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A memoir on mortality as only Julian Barnes can write it, one that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. If the fear of death is “the most rational thing in the world,” how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty and an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for, against, and with God, and at his own bloodline, which has become, following his parents’ death, another realm of mystery. Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.
Twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Julian Barnes continues to reinvigorate the novel with his pyrotechnic verbal skill and playful manipulation of plot and character. In Love, etc. he uses all the surprising, sophisticated ingredients of a delightful farce to create a tragicomedy of human frailties and needs. After spending a decade in America as a successful businessman, Stuart returns to London and decides to look up his ex-wife Gillian. Their relationship had ended years before when Stuart’s witty, feckless, former best friend Oliver stole her away. But now Stuart finds that the intervening years have left Oliver’s artistic ambitions in ruins and his relationship with Gillian on less than solid footing. When Stuart begins to suspect that he may be able to undo the results of their betrayal, he resolves to act. Written as an intimate series of crosscutting monologues that allow each character to whisper their secrets and interpretations directly to the reader, Love, etc. is an unsettling examination of confessional culture and a profound refection on the power of perspective.
In these fourteen brilliant stories, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending examines longing and loss, friendship and love, the historical past and contemporary life—all with his trademark wit and sharply observant eye. A newly divorced man invades his reticent girlfriend's privacy, only to discover that the information he finds reveals his own callously shallow curiosity. A couple comes together through an illicit cigarette and a song shared over the din of a Chinese restaurant. A widower revisiting the Scottish island he treasured with his wife learns how difficult it is to overcome grief. And scattered throughout, a group of friends gather regularly at dinner parties, perfecting the art of cerebral, sometimes bawdy banter. Each story in this extraordinary collection pulses with the resonance, spark, and poignant humor for which Barnes is justly heralded.