Through the Window
Seventeen Essays and a Short Story
By Julian Barnes
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780345805508, 272pp.)
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
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From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending and one of Britain’s greatest writers: a brilliant collection of essays on the books and authors that have meant the most to him throughout his illustrious career.
In these seventeen essays (plus a short story and a special preface, “A Life with Books”), Julian Barnes examines the British, French and American writers who have shaped his writing, 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, “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.”
Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories, and three collections of journalism. In addition to the Booker Prize, his other honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.
"A reasoned defense of great writers and great literature. . . . The criticism of a writer like Barnes deserves to be celebrated for its prose at the same time as its intelligence—criticism that functions as its own literary property." —San Francisco Chronicle
"[A] blissfully intelligent gathering of literary essays." —Financial Times
"Sparkling. . . . A veritable treasure house of letters on novels and their authors." —The Millions
"The Booker-winning English novelist makes erudite scholarship look easy and effortlessly entertaining." —The Daily Beast