The Haunt : A Novel

Barker, A. L.

Published by Carroll & Graf
ISBN 10: 0786707844 / ISBN 13: 9780786707843
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Synopsis: A bewitching tale of the loves that comfort and the longings that haunt us. With sly humor, exquisite dialogue, smooth narrative, and a cast of wholly original characters, this new book by the widely acclaimed novelist and Booker-Prize nominee A. L. Barker explores the legendary Cornish forest and examines the human heart. At the Belle Chasse, a dilapidated seaside hotel on the tip of magical Cornwall, chaos slinks behind the limited amenities, as its weekend guests soon discover - among them, a second-rate artist who's driven a malfunctioning car across England to present his ex-wife with a nude he painted of her years before; a lonely child in need of a friend; and a couple in their sixties, Elissa and Owen Grierson, long-married and now plagued by the painful longings of a no longer magical relationship. If these travelers have come to a world haunted by ancient myths of heroic quests and holy grails, they themselves pursue more ordinary dreams as they stumble over their own enigmas and eccentricities in a way that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that A. L. Barker "writes like an angel and I love her." "It is a glorious occasion to read a new novel by an author born in 1918 and to find it startlingly fresh, daring and instructive." - Times Literary Supplement; "Almost dauntingly fresh - glancing, mercurial, elusive." - The Observer; "Marries the deadpan timing of Kingsley Amis at his driest with a tinge of eerie nature-mysticism that brings Iris Murdoch to mind.... Hot, sparkling, exciting." - The Independent.

About the Author: A. L. Barker (1918-2002) was a short story writer and novelist. Born in St Paul's Cray, Kent, she lived in the same milieu where London borders on Kent and Surrey, for the rest of her life. As her Oxford DNB entry says it was 'the chief setting for her work, which often seemed to partake of the quotidian mysteriousness and even abandonment of these areas.' Her first selection of short stories, Innocents, won the Somerset Maugham award in 1947. Of her short stories, Robert Nye has written, 'stories as carefully composed as poems, quiet and delicate and reserved perhaps, but oddly lingering in the mind.' Although a stranger to commercial success, she never wanted for admirers, Jane Gardam, Francis King, Auberon Waugh, Evelyn Waugh, Rebecca West, John Sutherland, Deborah Moggach, Ronald Blythe, Susan Hill, A. S. Byatt, Adam Mars-Jones, Nina Bawden and Victoria Glendinning being just some of them. A. L. Barker deserves to be better known. Faber Finds is proud to be reissuing her entire oeuvre, six volumes of short stories - Innocents, Novelette with Other Stories, Femina Real, Life Stories, No Words of Love and Element of Doubt - and thirteen novels - Apology for a Hero, A Case Examined, The Joy-Ride and After, Lost Upon the Roundabouts, The Middling, John Brown's Body, Source of Embarrassment, A Heavy Feather, Relative Successes, The Gooseboy, The Woman Who Talked to Herself, Zeph and The Haunt.

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Title: The Haunt : A Novel
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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