In 1983, after having published two fairly conventional novels, Julian Barnes (born in 1946) was selected by the Book Marketing Council as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in a list which included Martin Amis, William Boyd, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Graham Swift. The next year, the outstanding Flaubert’s Parrot met with huge success, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and went on to win the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and the Prix Médicis in the non-fiction category in France. To this date, the novel remains Barnes’s most celebrated book worldwide and, together with his fifth novel, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989), the book has been hailed as an exemplary postmodernist text for its generic instability, its self-reflexive features, its epistemological concerns over the irretrievability of the past and its blurring of the boundaries between fact and fiction. More than 15 years after its publication, the following interview focuses on this hybrid book which has become part of the contemporary literary canon, traces its genesis and addresses some of its most important issues which can be related to other works by Barnes but also to specific trends in twentieth-century literature.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Julian Barnes
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number