Modern Literature Pat Barker Another World

ISBN 13: 9780374105259

Another World

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9780374105259: Another World

The new novel by the author of the acclaimed Regeneration trilogy.

Suppose time can slow down. Suppose it's not an ever rolling stream, but something altogether more viscous and unpredictable, like blood. Suppose it coagulates around terrible events, clots them over, stops the flow . . .

During the hazy Newcastle summer, Nick's grandfather Geordie lies dying. A proud and resilient man, he has long outlived his peers but not the memories of his youth. As Nick watches, Geordie starts to relive the horrors that surrounded his brother's death in the painful days before his own.

Meanwhile, at Lob's Hill, on the other side of the city, Nick and his pregnant wife, Fran, are failing to keep the peace in their increasingly fractious home. In an attempt to unite the family, Fran organizes the children into decorating the living room. As the old wallpaper is peeled away, a vigorous and obscene drawing of an Edwardian family is revealed. The portrait it reveals is the history of their home, casting a terrifying shadow over the family.

Another World is an extraordinarily powerful study of memory, and of the various ways in which the violent past returns to haunt and distort the present.

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Review:

The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road) established Pat Barker as one of the most powerful and versatile novelists writing today. Her eighth novel, Another World, is a powerful and complex tale of family, memory, illness, and war. Haunted by memories of the First World War, Geordie is dying of cancer, while his grandson Nick, haunted by the violence of families past (and present), struggles with his thoroughly modern marriage: angry stepchildren, exhausting toddler, miserably pregnant wife. Wracked by guilt, Geordie relives his brother's death in the trenches and his mother's grieving verdict: "It should have been you." Uncovering the intimate and public reach of Geordie's history, Nick is forced up against the "power of old wounds to leak into the present" and the paradoxical fragility--or pliancy--of personal memory. Weaving into her fictional worlds some of the most disturbing images of contemporary Britain--including that of "an older boy taking a toddler by the hand while his companion strides ahead, eager for the atrocity to come"--Barker draws her themes together into a remarkable, sometimes ruthless, study of family life and death. --Vicky Lebeau, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Pat Barker is the author of seven novels, including the highly acclaimed trilogy: Regeneration, made into a film starring Jonathan Pryce and James Wilby; The Eye in the Door, winner of the 1993 Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road, winner of the 1995 Booker Prize. She lives in Durham, England.

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Pat Barker
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