JULIAN BARNES is the author of over twenty books, for which he received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina, and in 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture; and in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in London.
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/ACKERLEY PRIZE FOR MEMOIR
FINALIST FOR THE WATERSTONE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
“An artful creation that soars into ecstasy, plunges into grief and records [Barnes’s] attempts to find a semblance of equilibrium after the death of his wife, literary agent Pat Kavanagh.... Thoughtful and provocative.... Barnes illuminates both the ecstasy of love and the despair of grief for his readers” Sandra Martin, The Globe and Mail
“Highly personal and at times richly detailed book.... Like Barnes’s characteristic works of fiction, Levels of Life is unorthodox in structure and perspective.... Barnes has researched the history of hot-air ballooning, with an eye for the poetic and the exemplary.... It would seem to be with some relief, and a good deal of feeling, that Barnes finally speaks in his own voice in the third section of the memoir. Grief is the great human leveller. The remainder of Levels of Life is a journal of a kind, not so much of the events of a life as of its interior contours.... Barnes is eloquent on the myopia of grief, noting his anger at the reactions of others.... The final, perfectly honed lines of the memoir suggest the balloonist’s quasi-mystic, Romantic expectation.” Joyce Carol Oates, The Times Literary Supplement
“A book whose slimness belies its throbbing emotional power…. Anyone who has loved and lost can’t fail to be moved by this devastating book.” Leyla Sanai, The Independent
“There is something intrepid and fragile about [Barnes’s] characters.... Barnes anatomises structures of grief: the anguished indifference to a world that did not contain his wife; his bewildered anger with friends who refused to acknowledge her name when he mentioned it; the thoughts of suicide, the reconfiguring of time and space by loss. These experiences are both universal and individual.... It is true that the private language of love doesn’t generally translate; yet how vividly Barnes invokes the power and delicacy of what is lost to him.” Jane Shilling, The Telegraph
“Levels of Life is a hard book to describe; no summary will capture the experience of reading it—the way in which, as the slim volume progresses, something not quite central to your vision builds, so that by the end you are blindsided by a quiet devastation. . . . In a mere 118 pages, Levels of Life would seem to pull off the impossible: to recreate, on the page, what it is like to be alive in the world, a feat equal in achievement to heavier-than-air flight.” Emma Brockes, The Guardian
An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.