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First published in 1987, The Gooseboy is a tale that is both elegant and grotesque, funny and appalling. Doug and Dulcie Bysshe are twins. Doug – or Bysshe – is now a successful film star living in the south of France and contemplating a new part as a saintly doctor in an African leper colony. Dulcie, busy and energetic, is fighting to retrieve her husband, the mournful and ineffective Pike, who has absconded to Nice with the adolescent Cherrimay Pugh. At the centre of events, is the Gooseboy, a creature with a double face, half faun, half deformed horror…

The Gooseboy questions the relations between flesh and spirit, the ridiculous and the terrible. A. L. Barker watches shrewdly and judges from a distance, her pithy and particular prose shining through.

‘She writes with a precision and an economy of words which had me gasping.’ Auberon Waugh

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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A. L.Barker
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