Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Sea

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The Sea

by John Banville

The Sea by John Banville
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2005, 195 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2006, 208 pages

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Beyond the Book

Print Review

The Booker Prize was established by the Booker McConnell company in 1969, and is  considered to be one of most important literary awards in the UK, if not the most important. In recent years it has been sponsored by the Man Group, an investment company, and thus is officially known as The Man Booker Prize, but is more often referred to simply as 'The Booker'.

Pierre Bonnard: Max has a tendency to muse over the paintings of Pierre Bonnard and in particular Bonnard's paintings of his wife, Marthe, in the bath.  abcgallery.com has a good collection of Bonnard's pictures if you're interested in taking a look, and if you do, spare a thought for poor old Marthe and think how lucky you are not to be married to an artist who paints pictures of you in the bathtub - unless of course you are!

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945, and lives in Dublin. Between 1988 and 1999 he was the literary editor of the Irish Times. His first book, Long Lankin, a collection of short stories, was published in 1970. It was followed by two novels, Nightspawn (1971) and Birchwood (1973); and then by Dr Copernicus, which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, and was followed by a series of novels exploring the lives of eminent scientists.

Bibliography (dates and titles reflect UK publications)
Long Lankin, 1970
Nightspawn, 1971
Birchwood,1973
Dr Copernicus, 1976
Kepler, 1981
The Newton Letter: An Interlude, 1982
Mefisto, 1986
The Book of Evidence, 1989
Ghosts, 1993
Athena, 1995
The Ark, 1996
The Untouchable, 1997
Eclipse, 2000
Shroud, 2002
Prague Pictures: Portrait of a City, 2003
The Sea, 2005.

This article was originally published in January 2006, and has been updated for the August 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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