By Julian Barnes
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679744825, 160pp.)
Publication Date: September 28, 1993
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In his latest novel, Julian Barnes, author of Talking It Over and A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, trains his laser-bright prose on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader, is placed on trial for crimes that range from corruption to political murder. Petkanov's guilt -- and the righteousness of his opponents -- would seem to be self-evident. But, as brilliantly imagined by Barnes, the trial of this cunning and unrepentant dictator illuminates the shadowy frontier between the rusted myths of the Communist past and a capitalist future in which everything is up for grabs.
Born in Leicester in 1946, Julian Barnes is the author of nine novels, a book of stories, and a collection of essays. He has won both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Fémina, and in 1988 was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London.
"Barnes's novels have a mesmeric charm and an air of dangerous simplicity .... [He is] an exceptionally accomplished and ingenious stylist."
-- The New York Review of Books
"Gripping ... Barnes relates this compelling story with his usual narrative brio, sketching his characters with the broad, colorful strokes of a mythic allegory."
-- The New York Times
"Barnes is a dazzling mind in mercurial flight."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer