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Femina Real

A. L. Barker
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571255016
Date Published
15.10.2009
Delivery
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Summary

This collection of nine short stories contains some of A. L. Barker’s most powerful and disquieting fiction. ‘Noon’, about a middle-aged man’s unacknowledged trysts with a young girl, memorably expresses the ambivalence and repression which haunts ordinary and respectable lives against the backdrop of a Mediterranean package-holiday hotel; in ‘Glory, Glory Allelujah’ an aging brother and sister attempt to exorcise the imprisoned hopelessness of their lives in a ritual bonfire in memory of their dead mother; and with stories such as ‘Almost an International Incident’ and ‘Monstra Deliciosa’ the author attunes her command of humour and finely wrought levity to display a writing sensibility that alternates between despair and sanguinity to unique, skilful and moving effect.

‘She is formidable, and from a bare corner of human relations gathers a rich harvest.’ Adam Mars-Jones

‘Her glancing, allusive writing carries one along easily, darting from invention to invention . . . Underneath there is a firm, ordering imagination and the poise of perfect pitch.’ New Statesman

‘It would be hard to find anyone who chooses words more exactly or constructs with more precision.’ Penelope Fitzgerald

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…

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