Barnes, Julian Patrick,
English author, 1946–. During the 1970s and 80s he was a critic and editor for the New Statesman
and New Review,
a correspondent for The New Yorker,
and a writer and editor for other periodicals. His first novel, Metroland,
was published in 1980. Often exploring the elusive nature of love, memory, and truth, Barnes's works blend narrative innovation, sophisticated wordplay, and psychological realism with a subtle irony. His reputation was established with Flaubert's Parrot
(1984). Widely considered his finest novel, it is the tale, told through a collage of genres, of a physician's obsessive exploration of the details of Flaubert
's life and work. Other novels include A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters
(1989), Talking It Over
(1991), England, England
(1998), Arthur and George
(2005), The Sense of an Ending
(2011, Man Booker Prize), and The Noise of Time
(2016), based on the life of Shostakovich
. His short-story collections include Cross Channel
(1996) and Pulse
(2011); his essay collections, Something to Declare
(2002), and Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art
(2015). In Levels of Life
(2013), he deftly and elegantly combines an essay on the history of ballooning, a short story, and a meditation on grief occasioned by the death of his wife. The Man in the Red Coat
(2020) combines the biography of Samuel Jean Pozzi, a noted surgeon, roué, and dandy, with a study of biography and a portrait of the Parisian Belle Époque. As Dan Kavanagh, Barnes is the author of several detective novels.
See his memoirs, Nothing to be Frightened Of (2008) and Levels of Life (2013); V. Guignery and R. Roberts, ed., Conversations with Julian Barnes (2009); studies by M. Moseley (1997), B. Sesto (2001), M. Pateman (2002), V. Guignery (2006), F. M. Holmes (2008), P. Childs (2011), and S. Gross and P. Childs, ed. (2011).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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