A Case Examined

A. L. Barker
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ISBN 9780571253661 Format Paperback
Published 20/08/2009 Length 206 pages

About Book

In a parish of wealthy women, Rose Antrobus forms a committee to decide who should benefit from a small bequest left to charity. Secretly she hopes the money will go to the Peachey family - a mother cruelly abandoned and looking after her three young children on a pittance. But the situation isn't as simple as all that, and soon it causes unexpceted ructions and confrontations - and Rose finds herself turning back the clock to remember a childhood vacation spent at the Marigny chateau in France ... a vacation which, thirty years later, is to provide the solution to her dilemma.

'The dialogue is subtle and the atmosphere of the French visits economically and brilliantly conveyed.' A. S. Byatt

  • About A. L. Barker

    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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