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From one of Britain’s greatest writers comes a brilliant collection of essays on the writers that have meant the most to him

In these 17 essays (plus a short story) the 2011 Man Booker Prize winner examines British, French and American writers who have meant most to him, as well as the cross-currents and overlappings of their different cultures. From the deceptiveness of Penelope Fitzgerald to the directness of Hemingway, from Kipling's view of France to the French view of Kipling, from the many translations of Madame Bovary to the fabulations of Ford Madox Ford, from the National Treasure Status of George Orwell to the despair of Michel Houellebecq, Julian Barnes considers what fiction is, and what it can do. As he writes in his preface, 'Novels tell us the most truth about life: what it is, how we live it, what it might be for, how we enjoy and value it, and how we lose it.'

When his Letters from London came out in 1995, the Financial Times called him 'our best essayist'. This wise and deft collection confirms that judgment.

Reviews

The parallels between Barnes's essays and his fiction run much deeper. The Sense of an Ending asks to be read twice, once to listen to what the narrator has to say, and a second time to hear what he is busily avoiding or repressing, and many of these essays work in a similar way… His collection is also full of unexpected pleasures… Even the index is brimming with jokes. Such local surprises are typical of the book as a whole, which encourages readers to dip and rewards them for lingering.

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Telegraph

Through the Window is a wonderful and very interesting collection of essays that rewards close, and also measured, reading.

Brendan Wright, Nudge

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099578581

    November 1, 2012

    Vintage

    256 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook

    9781448139101

    November 1, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    256 pages

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