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Cross Channel

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224 pages


No one has a better perspective on life on both sides of the channel than Julian Barnes. In these exquisitely crafted stories spanning several centuries, he takes as his universal theme the British in France; from the last days of a reclusive English composer, the beef consuming 'navvies' labouring on the Paris-Rouen railway to a lonely woman mourning the death of her brother on the battlefields of the Somme.
Clever, wise, reflective and imaginative, these stories are permeated with understanding of what it has meant for generations from these islands to cross the Channel.




Love, sex, art, literature, wars, religion, wine, spirit, the steam engine and, yes, Eurostar: they are all there. All the emotions, attitudes, pursuits and endeavours that typically seem to link Britain to France feature in the first collection of short stories by Julian Barnes...A delightful book European Wonderfully ironic, perceptive and at times tender... Barnes has created something unique in his work, a particular way of looking at life, at words, at relationships, which is the mark of every true stylist Financial Times His writing demonstrates the billowing lightness of imagination... reading these stories, you perceive and love France afresh... Cross Channel is characterised by the intelligence, irony and wit you associate with his writing, but it is also suffused with feeling, deeply seasoned with affection Independent A glittering collection of stories... His marvellously supple and exact prose is matched with subjects that powerfully stir his creativity... It's impossible to imagine a fictional panorama of Britain's long relationship with Britain's long relationship with France realized with more cordial understanding Sunday Times



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