A Heavy Feather

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ISBN 9780571256167 Format Paperback
9780571256167
Paperback
Published 10/12/2009 Length 234 pages
234

About Book

'You start alone, you finish alone,' she says: 'It's fine to be alone, it's a revelation, truth at last.'

This is the story of Almayer Jenkin's progress through life, from a motherless childhood through adult love affairs and her own experience of motherhood. In this novel, vivid and spare, touching and comic, A. L. Barker draws a fine portrait of Almayer and the diverse people she meets and lives among.

'I know nothing of A. L. Barker, except that she writes like an angel and I love her.' Auberon Waugh

'A novel that deserves to be cherished, as A. L. Barker so plainly cherishes her characters. She has a rare ability to illuminate the remarkable qualities of commonplace things, and a profound sympathy for us all, liable as we all are to being knocked over by very little at any time.' New York Magazine

'You start alone, you finish alone,' she says: 'It's fine to be alone, it's a revelation, truth at last.'This is the story of Almayer Jenkin's progress through life, from a motherless childhood through adult love affairs and her own experience of motherhood. In this novel, vivid and spare, touching and comic, A. L. Barker draws a fine portrait of Almayer and the diverse people she meets and lives among.'I know nothing of A. L. Barker, except that she writes like an angel and I love her.' Auberon Waugh 'A novel that deserves to be cherished, as A. L. Barker so plainly cherishes her characters. She has a rare ability to illuminate the remarkable qualities of commonplace things, and a profound sympathy for us all, liable as we all are to being knocked over by very little at any time.' New York Magazine
  • 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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