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Works by
Pat Barker
(Historian, Writer)
[1943 - ]

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Profile created October 2, 2009
 
Fiction
  • Life Class (2007)
    In the spring of 1914, a group of students at the Slade School of Art have gathered for a life-drawing class. Paul Tarrant is easily distracted by an intriguing fellow student, Elinor Brooke, but watches from afar when a well-known painter catches her eye. After World War I begins, Paul tends to the dying soldiers from the front line as a Belgian Red Cross volunteer, but the longer he remains, the greater the distance between him and home becomes. By the time he returns, Paul must confront not only the overwhelming, perhaps impossible challenge of how to express all that he has seen and experienced, but also the fact that life, and love, will never be the same for him again.

  • Double Vision (2003)
    In the aftermath of covering 9/11, English war reporter Stephen Sharkey and photographer Ben Frobisher leave New York and part company. Stephen returns to the devastating discovery of the end of his marriage; while on assignment in Afghanistan Ben is killed. Retreating to the English countryside to write a book questioning the role of the war reporter and photographer Stephen enters into complicated relationships with Benís widow Kate, a sculptor, her disturbing and sinister young studio assistant, and a young au-pair. Set far from the literal theatre of war, Double Vision is nonetheless a novel about its representation and effects as Pat Barker once more lays bare the complexities of desire and violence.

  • Border Crossing (2001)


  • Out walking with his wife, Lauren, beside the river Tyne, Tom Seymour instinctively risks his life to save a young man who they happen to notice just before he jumps into the icy current. Tom's spontaneous act saves the life of someone whose past, as well as his future, he feels a sense of responsibility towards. Recently released from prison, and living under an assumed name, Danny Miller was tried for murder as a ten-year-old on the basis of Tom's testimony, and assessment of him as a psychologist and an expert witness. When Danny asks Tom to help him sort out his lifeóbeginning with his pastóTom is drawn into a lonely, soul-searching reinvestigation of the child murderer's case.
  • Another World: A Novel (1998)
    Plagued by nightmarish memories of the trenches where he saw his brother die, Nick's grandfather Gordie lays dying as Nick struggles to keep the peace in his increasingly fractious home. As Nick's suburban family loses control over their world, Nick begins to learn his grandfather's buried secrets and comes to understand the power of old wounds to leak into the present. As a study of the power of memory and loss, Another World conveys with extraordinary intensity the ways in which the violent past returns to haunt and distort the present.

  • The Man Who Wasn't There (1989)


  • Twelve-year-old Colin knows little about his father except that he must have fought in the war. His mother, totally absorbed by the nightclub where she works, says nothing about him, and Colin turns to films for images of what his father might have been. Weaving in and out of Colin's real life, his imagined film explores issues of loyalty and betrayal and searches for the answer to the question 'What is a man?'
  • The Century's Daughter (1986)
    Also known as Liza's England
    Liza Garrett is the first child in town born in the twentieth century--whose life in many ways mirrors the turmoils of England itself. The tough, severe, but very real and recognizable world of women is put to the most strenuous tests, and Liza, at eighty-four, is proof that loyalty, fortitude and humor survive.

  • Blow Your House Down (1984)
    A city and its people are in the terrifying grip of a killer. Singling out prostitutes, the face of his latest victim stares out of every newspaper, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, mother of three, canĻt afford to give up, while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on "working the cars." And then, when another woman is savagely murdered, her lover Jean takes desperate measures.

  • Union Street (1982)
    'Vivid, bawdy and bitter' (The Times), Pat Barker's first novel shows the women of Union Street, young and old, meeting the harsh challeges of poverty and survival in a precarious world. There's Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant; Old Alice, welcoming her impending death; Muriel helplessly watching the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.

Regeneration Trilogy
  1. Regeneration (1991)
    Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, 1917, where army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating shell-shocked soldiers. Under his care are the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as mute Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper. Rivers' job is to make the men in his charge healthy enough to fight. Yet the closer he gets to mending his patients' minds the harder becomes every decision to send them back to the horrors of the front. "Regeneration" is the classic exploration of how the traumas of war brutalised a generation of young men. The first book in the "Regeneration" trilogy.

  2. The Eye in the Door (1993) -- Winner 1993 Guardian Fiction Prize
    This prize winning sequel to the author's acclaimed masterpiece of antiwar literature, Regeneration, "calls to mind . . . Hemingway and Fitzgerald" (Boston Globe) and stands on its own as an eloquently and morally complex novel of the brutal effects of World War I on the human psyche and British society as a whole.

  3. The Ghost Road (1995) -- Winner 1995 Booker Prize
    The final novel in a World War I trilogy focuses on compassionate psychiatrist Dr. William Rivers and Lieutenant Billy Prior as they both try to heal and cope with the trauma the war has inflicted upon them and the soldiers around them.

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