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Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration (1991); which was made into a film of the same name; The Eye in the Door (1993), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road (1995), which won the Booker Prize, as well as the more recent novels Another World, Border Crossing, Double Vision, Life Class and Toby’s Room. She lives in Durham.
There was a woman at the heart of the Trojan war whose voice has been silent - till now. Briseis was a queen until her city was destroyed. Now she is slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her husband and brothers. Trapped in a world defined by men, can she survive to become the author of her own story? Discover the greatest Greek myth of all - retold by the witness history forgot.
An atmospheric, touching and compassionate story based in London during the Second World War, where living on the edge and in the moment occurred on a daily basis. We seem to view Elinor and Paul from a distance, the writing initially skates over their feelings, creating a boundary and a sense of remoteness. When Bertha enters the tale there is an immediate burst of character, colour and emotion, effectively highlighting the other relationships. Pat Barker writes with an eloquently simple, stark style that somehow conveys the significance and consequences of the London Blitz, with even more power and emotion. The London of bombs, fire, craters, rubble, plaster dust, fear and exhaustion is an achingly moving and thought provoking place. This is the third in a trilogy, however I read Noonday as a stand-alone novel and didn’t feel as though I was missing out on what had gone before, though there are enough back references and tantalising hints to encourage me to go back to the beginning just as soon as I can, and I don't think having already read‘Noonday will spoil that experience. Able to delve into the most intimate, hidden places of a relationship, yet simultaneously display the wider aspect of the London Blitz during 1940, this is a commanding and memorable read.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. September 2015 Book of the Month. An atmospheric, touching and compassionate story based in London during the Second World War, where living on the edge and in the moment occurred on a daily basis. We seem to view Elinor and Paul from a distance, the writing initially skates over their feelings, creating a boundary and a sense of remoteness. When Bertha enters the tale there is an immediate burst of character, colour and emotion, effectively highlighting the other relationships. Pat Barker writes with an eloquently simple, stark style that somehow conveys the significance and consequences of the London Blitz, with even more power and emotion. The London of bombs, fire, craters, rubble, plaster dust, fear and exhaustion is an achingly moving and thought provoking place. This is the third in a trilogy, however I read Noonday as a stand-alone novel and didn’t feel as though I was missing out on what had gone before, though there are enough back references and tantalising hints to encourage me to go back to the beginning just as soon as I can, and I don't think having already read‘Noonday will spoil that experience. Able to delve into the most intimate, hidden places of a relationship, yet simultaneously display the wider aspect of the London Blitz during 1940, this is a commanding and memorable read. ~ Liz Robinson
The Regeneration Trilogy is Pat Barker's sweeping masterpiece of British historical fiction. 1917, Scotland. At Craiglockhart War Hospital in Scotland, army psychiatrist William Rivers treats shell-shocked soldiers before sending them back to the front. In his care are poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, and Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper...
Toby's Room is the second novel in Pat Barker's Life Class Trilogy, returning to the First World War in a dark, compelling examination of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship. When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Heart-rendering return to the Great War...On every level, Toby's Room anatomises a world where extreme emotion shatters the boundaries of identity, behaviour, gender. Through the mask of Apollo bursts an omnipresent Dionysus. (Independent). Once again Barker skilfully moves between past and present, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction into a gripping narrative. (Sunday Telegraph). A gripping and moving exploration of the lasting effects of war. (Woman & Home). A natural storyteller...the reader [will be] torn between wanting to linger over the sheer pleasure of the writing and the desire to rush towards the end to discover how it all pans out. (Daily Mail).
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2013. Pat Barker, Booker prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy returns to WWI in this dark, compelling novel of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship. Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917. When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor's fellow student Kit Neville was there in the fox-hole when Toby met his fate, but has secrets of his own to keep. Enlisting the help of former lover Paul Tarrant, Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss from the author of The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road . It is Pat Barker's most powerful novel yet. Praise for Pat Barker: A brilliant stylist...Barker delves unflinchingly into the enduring mysteries of human motivation . ( Sunday Telegraph ). Barker is a writer of crispness and clarity and an unflinching seeker of the germ of what it means to be human . ( The Herald ). Barker is brilliant on the conflicts between art, love and war . ( Marie Claire ). Barker writes ...with great tenderness and insight, and a daring to forgo simple resolutions . ( Independent on Sunday ). Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration , which was made into a film of the same name, The Eye in the Door , which won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road , which won the Booker Prize. She is also the author of the more recent novels Another World , Border Crossing , Double Vision and, Life Class . She lives in Durham.
Spring, 1914. The students at the Slade School of Art gather in Henry Tonks' studio for his life-drawing class. But for Paul Tarrant the class is troubling, underscoring his own uncertainty about making a mark on the world. When war breaks out and the army won't take Paul, he enlists in the Belgian Red Cross just as he and fellow student Elinor Brooke admit their feelings for one another. Amidst the devastation in Ypres, Paul comes to see the world anew - but have his experiences changed him completely?
The first in a stunning trilogy about the First World War, the novel takes a real life encounter between a doctor running a hospital for the wounded, and Siegfried Sassoon.Craiglockhart, a hospital for officers ravaged by their experiences in trench warfare, is the setting for Pat Barker's 'Regeneration'. Here the poet Siegfried Sassoon, author of an article condemning the war, came under the care of psychiatrist W.H.R Rivers whose duty, as he saw it, was to return Sassoon to all the horrors of the Front, because Sassoon was sane, was healthy - and he had made a commitment. But while the encounter of Sassoon and Rivers is central to 'Regeneration', it is the exploration of the character of Rivers himself, the agony of the other patients and the insights into their minds, that makes this a tour-de-force. A superb novel related with chilling clarity and vivid compassion.
The second book in the Regeneration trilogy, read by Paul McGann.Written with immense power, it is the story not just of one young man suffering from the trauma of war, but from a generation, condemned to the unending slaughter of the trenches, and all the charged agony of class and gender that had its own bitter harvest. But for all the pain she portrays, Barker's novel, with its wry humour and exquisite observation, explodes with life..
The third title in the Regeneration trilogy, read by Paul McGann.1918, and Billy Prior is in France once again, a real test case for the 'shell-shock' therapies practised at Craiglockhart War Hospital where, with Wilfred Owen, he was a patient. Prior experiences a late-summer idyll, some days of perfect beauty, before the final battles in a war that has destroyed most of his generation. In London, Prior's psychologist, William Rivers, tends to his new patients, more young men whose lives and minds have been shattered. And remembers the primitive society on Eddystone Island where he studied as an anthropologist before the war. Gathering together both experiences, he sees the gulf between them narrow... Challenging and harrowing, brilliantly incisive yet always compassionate, Pat Barker's Booker Prize winning novel is magnificent listening.
This gripping novel explores the effects of violence on the journalists and artists who have dedicated themselves to representing it. In the aftermath of September 11, reeling from the effects of reporting from New York City, two British journalists, a writer, Stephen Sharkey, and a photographer, Ben Frobisher, part ways. Stephen returns to England shattered; he divorces his duplicitous wife and quits his job. Ben follows the war on terror to Afghanistan and is killed. Stephen retreats to a cottage in the country to write a book about violence, and what he sees as the reporting journalist's or photographer's complicity in it. Ben's widow, Kate, a sculptor, lives nearby, and as she and Stephen learn about each other their world speedily shrinks, in pleasing but also disturbing ways. The sinister events that begin to take place in this small town, so far from the theaters of war Stephen has retreated from, will force him to act instinctively, violently, and to face his most painful revelations about himself.
From the Booker Prize-winning and Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Silence of the Girls A powerfully thought-provoking portrait of modern warfare from one of the modern masters of war fiction 'Barker is one of our most significant contemporary novelists' Daily Telegraph 'The characters grab hold at the beginning and never loosen their grip. Barker holds us by the sheer beauty of her writing' Financial Times 'Barker has a quite extraordinary ability to combine complexity and clarity and to make both seem parts of the same whole' Sunday Times Returning to Afghanistan after his photographer friend is killed by a sniper, war reporter Stephen Sharkey seeks release from his nightmares in an England seemingly at peace with itself. Questioning man's inhumanity to man both abroad and at home, and whether love really can be the great redeemer, Double Vision is a searing novel of conflict in modern times.
An unflinching novel on the nature of evil from the Booker Prize-winning and Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Silence of the Girls 'Rich, surprising, breathtaking' The Times 'A tremendous piece of writing, sad and terrifying. It keeps you reading, exhausted and blurry-eyed, until 2am' Independent on Sunday 'Barker probes not only the mysteries of 'evil' but society's horrified and incoherent response to it' Guardian 'Brilliantly crafted. Unflinching yet sensitive, this is a dark story expertly told' Daily Mail When Tom Seymour, a child psychologist, plunges into a river to save a young man from drowning, he unwittingly reopens a chapter from his past he'd hoped to forget. For Tom already knows Danny Miller. When Danny was ten Tom helped imprison him for the killing of an old woman. Now out of prison with a new identity, Danny has some questions - questions he thinks only Tom can answer. Reluctantly, Tom is drawn back into Danny's world - a place where the border between good and evil, innocence and guilt is blurred and confused. But when Danny's demands on Tom become extreme, Tom wonders whether he has crossed a line of his own - and in crossing it, can he ever go back?
Plagued by nightmarish memories of the trenches where he saw his brother die, Nick's grandfather Gordie lays dying as Nick struggles to keep the peace in his increasingly fractious home. As Nick's suburban family loses control over their world, Nick begins to learn his grandfather's buried secrets and comes to understand the power of old wounds to leak into the present. As a study of the power of memory and loss, Pat Barker's Another World conveys with extraordinary intensity the ways in which the violent past returns to haunt and distort the present.
From the Booker Prize-winning and Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Silence of the Girls 'Gripping in the best, most exquisite sense of the word' Mail on Sunday 'Utterly compelling... She is a novelist who probes deep, revealing what people prefer to keep hidden' Scotsman 'Extraordinary... Without question the best novel I have read this year' Daily Mail 'Brilliant touches of observation, an unfailing ear for dialogue... This is a novel that doesn't allow you to miss a sentence' New York Times Book Review At 101 years old, Geordie, a proud Somme veteran, lingers painfully through the days before his death. His grandson Nick is anguished to see this once-resilient man haunted by the ghosts of the trenches and the horror surrounding his brother's death. But in Nick's family home the dark pressures of the past also encroach on the present. As he and his wife Fran try to unite their uneasy family of step- and half-siblings, the discovery of a sinister Victorian drawing reveals the murderous history of their house and casts a violent shadow on their lives...
A trilogy of novels set during World War I which mingle real and fictional characters. The Ghost Road won the 1995 Booker Prize.
Set in London in 1918, `The Eye in the Door' is an intense and profoundly intelligent examination of the effects of war, continuing the interwoven stories of Dr William Rivers, Billy Prior, and Siegfried Sassoon begun in `Regeneration'. `The Eye in the Door' was awarded the 1993 Guardian Fiction Prize, while the final volume in the `Regeneration' trilogy, `The Ghost Road', won the Booker Prize in 1995. Writing in the Sunday Times, Peter Kemp said, `In the climate of exhaustion and hysteria amid which the war is wearing to its close, pressures to fall into line become fierce and take ugly forms. At the forefront of her story, Barker places figures especially menaced by this: pacifists, conscientious objectors and homosexuals ... a sequel every bit as unwaveringly intense and intelligent as its predecessor'.
A serial killer stalks prostitutes with profound and unexpected consequences in this riveting novel from the Booker Prize-wining author of Ghost Road A city and its people are in the grip of a killer who is roaming the northern city, singling out prostitutes. The face of his latest victim stares out from every newspaper and billboard, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, with three children, can't afford to give up while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on 'working the cars'. And then, when another woman is savagely murdered, Jean, her lover, takes desperate measures...
Dauntless Liza Jarrett, born at the dawn of the twentieth century, is now in her eighties, frail and facing eviction with her cantankerous parrot Nelson, when she is visited by Stephen, a young gay social worker. As she learns to trust him, she recalls her life - her embittered, exhausted mother, her shell-shocked spiritualist husband, her beloved son and chaotic daugter. Their friendship, deepening with the unfolding of their stories, comes to sustain Liza through her last battle and brings new courage to Stephen.
Vivid, bawdy and bitter' (The Times), Pat Barker's first novel shows the women of Union Street, young and old, meeting the harsh challeges of poverty and survival in a precarious world. There's Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant; Old Alice, welcoming her impending death; Muriel helplessly watching the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.