English Historical Fiction
The Noise of Time
Paperback ISBN: 1101971185
A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes’s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending. In 1936, Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovich reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children—and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovich’s career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society. From the Hardcover edition.
The Paying Guests
Paperback ISBN: 1594633924
Forced to take in lodgers in economically challenged 1922 South London, widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter find their lives profoundly and disturbingly changed by the arrival of a modern young couple. By the best-selling author of The Little Stranger and Fingersmith. Online reading-group guide. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
Gillespie and I
Paperback ISBN: 0062103202
Taking readers back in time to 1888 Glasgow during the world-famous International Exhibition, elderly Harriet Baxter reminisces about her friendship with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who took his own life at the age of 36, never having achieved the fame and recognition she believes he deserved. Original. 30,000 first printing.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Paperback ISBN: 0812976363
Dispatched to the influential Japanese port of Dejima in 1799, ambitious clerk Jacob de Zoet resolves to earn enough money to deserve his wealthy fiancâee, an effort that is challenged by his relationship with the midwife daughter of a samurai.