This is the first book length study of the innovative, award-winning British novelist Pat Barker, whose first novel, the acclaimed Union Street, was published in 1982. Most recently, she won the Booker Prize for The Ghost Road, the final novel the Regeneration Trilogy. The Trilogy provides a creative and critical intervention on the First World War in novels that push to the limits in their descriptions of human endurance. In stories of emotional and physical conflict, Barker explores communities and individuals under stress; whether in late twentieth-century urban landscapes, or in the trenches. But, Barker's work is also witty and unsentimental. She distils historical and class memory, combining the national with the personal and keys into contemporary debates on the social construction of gender and sexuality. The experiences of men and women are interwoven across novels which explore issues of gender and class across the generation in twentieth-century Britain.
Dr Sharon Monteith is Head of Literature at the University of Nottingham. She has published widely on American and British fiction. Her latest book is Gender in the Civil Rights Movement (1999) and her book Advancing Sisterhood? is forthcoming (2000). She is currently editing Contemporary British Fiction: Interviews with Novelists.