In his widely acclaimed collection of stories, Julian Barnes addresses what is perhaps the most poignant aspect of the human condition: growing old.
The characters in The Lemon Table are facing the ends of their lives—some with bitter regret, others with resignation, and others still with defiant rage. Their circumstances are just as varied as their responses. In 19th-century Sweden, three brief conversations provide the basis for a lifetime of longing. In today’s England, a retired army major heads into the city for his regimental dinner—and his annual appointment with a professional lady named Babs. Somewhere nearby, a devoted wife calms (or perhaps torments) her ailing husband by reading him recipes.
In stories brimming with life and our desire to hang on to it one way or another, Barnes proves himself by turns wise, funny, clever, and profound—a writer of astonishing powers of empathy and invention.
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Master prose stylist Julian Barnes presents a collection of stories whose characters are growing old and facing the end of their lives -- some with bitterness, some with resignation and others with raging defiance.
"Life is just a premature reaction to death," was what Viv's husband used to say. Once her lover and friend, he is now Viv's semi-helpless charge, who is daily sinking ever deeper into dementia. In "Appetite," Viv has found a way to reach her husband: by reading aloud snippets of recipe books until he calls out indelible -- and sometimes unfortunate -- scenes locked away in his brain. In "The Things You Know," two elderly friends enjoy their monthly breakfast meetings that neither would ever think of missing. Of course, all they really have in common is a fondness for flat suede shoes and a propensity for thinking spiteful, unspoken thoughts about one another's dead husbands. "The Fruit Cage" is narrated by a middle-aged man whose seemingly orderly upbringing is harrowingly undone when he discovers that his parents' old age is not necessarily a time of serenity but actually an age of aroused, perhaps violent, passions.
In these stories, Julian Barnes displays the erudition, wit and uncanny insight into the human mind that mark him as one of today's great writers, one whose intellect and humour never obscure a genuine affection for his characters.
Julian Barnes is the author of nine novels, including Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters, England, England and Arthur and George, and two collections of short stories, Cross Channel and The Lemon Table.
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Buchbeschreibung Vintage London Random House UK Dez 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 From the hairdessing salon where an old man measures out his life in haircuts, to the concert hall where a music lover carries out an obsessive campaign against those who cough in concerts; from the woman who reads elaborate recipes to her sick husband as a substitute for sex, to the woman 'incarcerated' in an old people's home beginning a correspondence with an author that enriches both their lives - all Barnes' characters, in their different ways, square up to death and rage against the dying light. 224 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780099554998