Apology for a Hero

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ISBN 9780571253791 Format Paperback
9780571253791
Paperback
Published 20/08/2009 Length 264 pages
264

About Book

Charles Candy is cantankerous, old fashioned, set in his ways; settled with his wife in a beautiful house in Cornwall, he's also quite content. But all of this changes when his sister-in-law Perry comes to stay. She's a spiritual hobo - independent, erratic, rootless and romatic - and Charles finds himself inexplicably attracted to her, and having to face up to the truth about who he really is.

Depicting their burgeoning relationship with both sharp humour and poignant sadness, Barker's first novel once more reveals her incredible grasp of human emotions, as already seen in her short fiction. It's an engaging, enjoyable, hugely skilled debut novel.

Charles Candy is cantankerous, old fashioned, set in his ways; settled with his wife in a beautiful house in Cornwall, he's also quite content. But all of this changes when his sister-in-law Perry comes to stay. She's a spiritual hobo - independent, erratic, rootless and romatic - and Charles finds himself inexplicably attracted to her, and having to face up to the truth about who he really is. Depicting their burgeoning relationship with both sharp humour and poignant sadness, Barker's first novel once more reveals her incredible grasp of human emotions, as already seen in her short fiction. It's an engaging, enjoyable, hugely skilled debut novel.
  • 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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