Julian Barnes's work has been marked by great variety, ranging not only from conventional fiction to postmodernist experimentation in such well-known novels as Flaubert's Parrot (1984) and A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters (1989), but also from witty essays to deeply touching short stories. The responses of readers and critics have likewise varied, from enthusiasm to scepticism, as the substantial volume of critical analysis demonstrates. This Readers' Guide provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the essential criticism on Barnes's work, drawing from a selection of reviews, interviews, essays and books. Through the presentation and assessment of key critical interpretations, Vanessa Guignery provides the most wide-ranging examination of his fiction and non-fiction so far, considering key issues such as his use of language, his treatment of history, obsession, love, and the relationship between fact and fiction. Covering all of the novels to date, from Metroland (1981) to Arthur and George (2005), this is an invaluable introduction to the work of one of Britain's most exciting and popular contemporary writers.
VANESSA GUIGNERY is Senior Lecturer in Literature at the University of La Sorbonne in Paris, France. She is the author of several books on Julian Barnes and has also published articles on the fiction of Jeanette Winterson, Alain de Botton, Jonathan Coe, Michele Roberts and Arundhati Roy.