Julian Barnes can rightfully be called a prolific author, having published nineteen books, more than twenty short stories, and over one-hundred essays and reviews! He has also written four novels under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh
, a mysterious, steer-wrestling, gay-bar-bouncing personality who, "devoted his adolescence to truancy, venery and petty theft... [and who] is currently working in London at jobs he declines to specify". In October 2011, after having been nominated four times, Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for his highly acclaimed novel, The Sense of an Ending
. Read on to learn more about a selection of his novels...
The first book he published under the name Julian Barnes, Metroland
(1980), took approximately 8 years to write and draws on the author's personal experiences growing up in the suburbs of London. Written in three parts, it follows the main characters, Christopher and Toni, as they evolve from children into snarky adolescents, and, finally, men who are faced with shocking truths about themselves and their futures. It won the Somerset Maugham Award for a first novel.
Considered to be Barnes's "breakout" novel, Flaubert's Parrot
(1984) is about a widowed English doctor's obsession with Gustave Flaubert and his use of Flaubert's writings to make sense of his own life. While on a trip to France, the doctor, Geoffrey Braithwaite, seeks to find the authentic stuffed parrot that once sat on Flaubert's desk and was said to have inspired the great author. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1984 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize the following year.
The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters
(1989) is one of Barnes's most studied and revered novels, incorporating themes of voyage and discovery with a combination of fictional and historical narratives. Barnes questions our many interpretations of history, as well as our collective place in it, and examines how and why people attempt to find answers. The book was lauded as "frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic and a delight to read" by author Salman Rushdie
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2005, and winner of the Annual Best Foreign Novels, 21st Century, Arthur & George
is the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed writer of Sherlock Holmes
, and George Edalji, a hardworking and socially awkward Birmingham solicitor (lawyer). They are brought together by a sequence of events, known then as The Great Wyrley Outrages, and Julian Barnes reveals both the events of the case, and the psychology of the age.
For more information about Julian Barnes, please visit his his bio page