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Julian Barnes

Author of The Sense of an Ending

71+ Works 38,561 Members 1,408 Reviews 121 Favorited

About the Author

Julian Barnes was born in Leicester, England, on January 19, 1946. He received a degree in modern languages from Magdalen College, Oxford University in 1968. He has held jobs as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary, a reviewer and literary editor for the New Statesmen and the New show more Review, and a television critic. He has written numerous works of fiction including Arthur and George, Pulse: Stories, The Noise of Time, and England, England. He received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1980 for Metroland, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1985 and a Prix Medicis in 1986 for Flaubert's Parrot, and the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending. He also writes non-fiction works including Letters from London, The Pedant in the Kitchen, and Nothing to Be Frightened Of. He received the Shakespeare Prize by the FVS Foundation in 1993, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2011. He writes detective novels under the pseudonym Dan Kavanaugh. His works under this name include Duffy, Fiddle City, Putting the Boot In, and Going to the Dogs. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Ph: Nick Cunard


Works by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending (2011) 8,261 copies
Arthur & George (2005) 4,902 copies
Flaubert's Parrot (1984) 3,929 copies
England, England (1998) 1,876 copies
The Noise of Time (2016) 1,461 copies
Talking It Over (1991) 1,387 copies
Nothing to Be Frightened Of (2008) 1,255 copies
Levels of Life (2013) 1,056 copies
Love, etc. (2000) 987 copies
The Only Story (2018) 984 copies
The Lemon Table (2004) 855 copies
Metroland (1980) 851 copies
Before She Met Me (1982) 768 copies
Staring at the Sun (1986) 738 copies
Cross Channel (1996) 664 copies
The Porcupine (1992) 570 copies
The Man in the Red Coat (2019) 503 copies
Letters from London (1995) 502 copies
Pulse (2011) 498 copies
Something to Declare (2002) 490 copies
The Pedant in the Kitchen (2003) 471 copies
Elizabeth Finch (2022) 364 copies
Duffy (1980) — some editions — 183 copies
Going to the Dogs (1987) 114 copies
Fiddle City (1982) 113 copies
Putting the Boot In (1985) 79 copies
A Life with Books (1855) 65 copies
Duffy Omnibus (1980) 42 copies
Death (2017) 39 copies
Evermore (1996) 39 copies
Verzamelde verhalen (2021) 12 copies
Homage to Hemingway (2015) 3 copies
Strandboek (1993) — Contributor — 3 copies
A Self-Possessed Woman (1975) 2 copies
The limner 2 copies
East wind 2 copies
Nieuw Werk 1 copy
The Creature in Alpha (1995) 1 copy
2009 1 copy
Sinn und Form 5/2012 (2012) 1 copy
Krauts 1 copy
Complicity 1 copy

Associated Works

The Good Soldier (1915) — Introduction, some editions — 4,777 copies
Parade's End (1925) — Introduction, some editions — 1,752 copies
A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950) — Preface, some editions — 718 copies
Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink (2007) — Contributor — 535 copies
Innocence (1986) — Introduction, some editions — 439 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 429 copies
The Library Book (2012) — Contributor — 392 copies
Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame (2003) — Contributor — 280 copies
Granta 84: Over There: How America Sees the World (2004) — Contributor — 229 copies
Granta 65: London (1999) — Contributor — 222 copies
The Rocketeer [1991 film] (1991) — Actor — 212 copies
Nothing But You: Love Stories From The New Yorker (1997) — Contributor — 186 copies
First Folio: A Little Book of Folio Forewords (2008) — Contributor — 179 copies
Granta 76: Music (2001) — Contributor — 155 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies
Granta 32: History (1990) — Contributor — 151 copies
Granta 47: Losers (1994) — Contributor — 128 copies
Granta 50: Fifty (1995) — Contributor — 117 copies
Granta 109: Work (2009) — Contributor — 116 copies
The Penguin Book of First World War Stories (2007) — Contributor — 108 copies
The Best American Essays 1989 (1989) — Contributor — 100 copies
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists (1983) — Contributor — 91 copies
The Mammoth Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1998) — Contributor — 73 copies
The Best American Essays 1986 (1986) — Contributor — 70 copies
Dear Dodie: the life of Dodie Smith (1996) — Foreword, some editions — 66 copies
Coffee with Aristotle (Coffee with...Series) (2008) — Foreword — 49 copies
Stories To Get You Through The Night (2010) — Contributor — 32 copies
The Truth About Dogs (1988) — Introduction, some editions — 25 copies
Best Short Stories 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 15 copies
TLS Short Stories (2003) — Contributor — 12 copies
Früher war mehr Strand: Hinterhältige Reisegeschichten (2007) — Author, some editions — 10 copies
Arthur & George [2015 TV mini series] (2015) — Original book — 7 copies
Love Etc. [DVD] (2000) — Writer — 3 copies
Birds of Prey: Seven Sardonic Stories (2010) — Contributor — 2 copies


20th century (357) 21st century (202) anthology (303) Arthur Conan Doyle (186) biography (245) Booker Prize (266) British (648) British fiction (221) British literature (505) contemporary fiction (189) ebook (177) England (687) English (277) English literature (622) essays (543) fiction (5,189) food (217) France (259) Granta (198) historical fiction (395) history (227) humor (174) Julian Barnes (167) Kindle (148) literary fiction (237) literature (688) memoir (201) memory (210) mystery (185) non-fiction (529) novel (1,035) read (402) relationships (202) Roman (208) short stories (746) suicide (180) to-read (2,120) UK (238) unread (200) WWI (156)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Barnes, Julian Patrick
Other names
Kavanagh, Dan
Pygge, Edward
Country (for map)
Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Places of residence
Northwood, Middlesex, England, UK
London, England, UK
City of London School
Magdalen College, Oxford University (BA|1968)
literary editor
television critic
Barnes, Jonathan (brother)
American Academy of Arts and Letters (Honorary member, 2016)
Awards and honors
David Cohen British Literature Prize (2011)
Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2004)
Man Booker Prize (2011)
Somerset Maugham Award (1981)
Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1985)
Jerusalem Prize (2021) (show all 10)
Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1988)
Siegfried Lenz Prize (2016)
Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2004)
E. M. Forster Award (1986)
Short biography
Julian Barnes was born in Leicester, England on January 19, 1946. He was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964 and at Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated in modern languages (with honours) in 1968.

After graduation, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary supplement for three years. In 1977, Barnes began working as a reviewer and literary editor for the New Statesman and the New Review. From 1979 to 1986 he worked as a television critic, first for the New Statesman and then for the Observer.

Barnes has received several awards and honours for his writing, including the 2011 Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending. Three additional novels were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (Flaubert's Parrot 1984, England, England 1998, and Arthur & George 2005). Barnes's other awards include the Somerset Maugham Award (Metroland 1981), Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (FP 1985); Prix Médicis (FP 1986); E. M. Forster Award (American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1986); Gutenberg Prize (1987); Grinzane Cavour Prize (Italy, 1988); and the Prix Femina (Talking It Over 1992). Barnes was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1988, Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1995 and Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2004. In 1993 he was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the FVS Foundation and in 2004 won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. In 2011 he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature. Awarded biennially, the prize honours a lifetime's achievement in literature for a writer in the English language who is a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. He received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in 2013 and the 2015 Zinklar Award at the first annual Blixen Ceremony in Copenhagen. In 2016, the American Academy of Arts & Letters elected Barnes as an honorary foreign member. Also in 2016, Barnes was selected as the second recipient of the Siegfried Lenz Prize for his outstanding contributions as a European narrator and essayist.

Julian Barnes has written numerous novels, short stories, and essays. He has also translated a book by French author Alphonse Daudet and a collection of German cartoons by Volker Kriegel. His writing has earned him considerable respect as an author who deals with the themes of history, reality, truth and love.



Group Read: Arthur & George by Julian Barnes in 75 Books Challenge for 2018 (February 2018)
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (Bowie's Top 100 for August) in 75 Books Challenge for 2016 (August 2016)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes in Booker Prize (August 2011)


Beautifully written with, yes, one hell of an ending.
gonzocc | 538 other reviews | Mar 31, 2024 |
Marred by an out of nowhere reference to Trotsky as an apostate. Surely anyone reasonably familiar with the ground would have Stalin in the frame. Didn’t Hitchens teach him anything?
P1g5purt | 30 other reviews | Mar 26, 2024 |
# The Sense of an Ending ~ Julian Barnes

This is a wistful book about the fallibility and mutability of memory. The very first words in the novel are "I remember", and throughout the book we are brought to consider the untrustworthiness of our recollections. "What you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed," says the narrator.

Later, he says:

>We live with such easy assumptions, don’t we? For instance, that memory equals events plus time. But it’s all much odder than this. Who was it said that memory is what we thought we’d forgotten? And it ought to be obvious to us that time doesn’t act as a fixative, rather as a solvent.

Tony Webster is in his mid-60s when he receives an unexpected bequest which causes him to think back on the events of his youth, from his senior years at high school through university and a few years afterwards.

At high school, his group friends is joined by Adrian, a new arrival at the school. While he fits in well with the group, he is somewhat their intellectual and cultural superior. Adrian has a series of intense classroom debates with their history teacher about whether we can ever make a really objective assessment of historical events, even quite recent ones. But, in a wryly ironic note, the narrator comments that his own recollection of these debates is almost certainly flawed.

Tony tells of his early clumsy encounters with young women, and his constant sexual frustrations at the time. "You may say, But wasn't this the Sixties? Yes, but only for some people, only in certain parts of the country."

Eventually, during his university years, he meets Veronica: "About five foot two with rounded, muscular calves, mid-brown hair to her shoulders, blue-grey eyes behind blue-framed spectacles, and a quick yet withholding smile." It's this relationship which is at the core of the novel, because he has a bitter break-up with her after a year of going out together. Veronica then takes up with Adrian, Tony's intellectual school friend. And some time later, unexpectedly, Adrian takes his own life for reasons which are not clear.

All this is many decades in the past as Tony now recounts those events, but they are brought back into his life when he is advised of a bequest from Veronica's mother Sarah, who he had met only once when visiting her parents. The bequest is a modest sum of money and, astonishingly, Adrian's diary. Except that Veronica is in current possession of the diary and refuses to supply it to Tony.

Tony's attempts to get hold of the diary and his renewal of contacts with Veronica play out in the rest of the novel. He finds himself confronted with past events and actions of his own which he had forgotten, or badly mis-remembered. It takes him a long time to discover and understand the conseqences resulting from his youthful behaviour.

This is a beautifully-written novel which really makes you think about life, and how our memories can betray us; about how we can fail to grasp what has been going on, even at critical moments of our lives; and how we can deeply misunderstand other human beings.

*A Sense of an Ending* won the Man Booker Prize in 2011, and deservedly so, I think.
… (more)
davidrgrigg | 538 other reviews | Mar 23, 2024 |
Quite unlike anything I've ever read. Part intriguing biography, partly recounting a "legal miscarriage". A "historical footnote" is highlighted from a most unusual perspective. Highly enjoyable read. The unfolding of the legal case alone made an 18 km run go by in a whiffy.
Kindlegohome | 175 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |


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