Element of Doubt

Faber Members pay only £9.60 for this title. Sign up for free during checkout to get your discount.
Proceed to Checkout
ISBN 9780571256150 Format Paperback
9780571256150
Paperback
Published 10/12/2009 Length 172 pages
172

About Book

An academic is haunted by his dead colleague's certainty; a tutor is confronted with an eight year old's mortal secret and Aunt Selena's dancing bear appears from beyond the grave. In this collection of ghost stories A. L. Barker brings her storytelling powers to cast more than an element of doubt on the differences dividing life and death, good and evil, animate and inanimate as the uncanny enters the everyday world.

'There is no better living woman writer in the English language.' Martin Seymour-Smith, Financial Times

'She writes with a precision and economy of words which had me gasping with admiration.' Auberon Waugh, Independent

'A. L. Barker has a well-deserved reputation among the cognoscenti for beautifully made short stories.' Robert Nye

An academic is haunted by his dead colleague's certainty; a tutor is confronted with an eight year old's mortal secret and Aunt Selena's dancing bear appears from beyond the grave. In this collection of ghost stories A. L. Barker brings her storytelling powers to cast more than an element of doubt on the differences dividing life and death, good and evil, animate and inanimate as the uncanny enters the everyday world.'There is no better living woman writer in the English language.' Martin Seymour-Smith, Financial Times'She writes with a precision and economy of words which had me gasping with admiration.' Auberon Waugh, Independent'A. L. Barker has a well-deserved reputation among the cognoscenti for beautifully made short stories.' Robert Nye
  • 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.

    More Info