Author(s): Julian Barnes
You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed. In Levels of Life Julian Barnes gives us Nadar, the pioneer balloonist and aerial photographer; he gives us Colonel Fred Burnaby, reluctant adorer of the extravagant Sarah Bernhardt; then, finally, he gives us the story of his own grief, unflinchingly observed. This is a book of intense honesty and insight; it is at once a celebration of love and a profound examination of sorrow.
This short, unconventional book is probably the most moving that Julian Barnes has ever written
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2013.
"It is extraordinary... [It] would seem to pull off the impossible: to recreate, on the page, what it is like to be alive in the world." -- Emma Brockes Guardian "This is a book of rare intimacy and honesty about love and grief. To read it is a privilege. To have written it is astonishing." -- Ruth Scurr The Times "It's an unrestrained, affecting piece of writing, raw and honest and more truthful for its dignity and artistry... Anyone who has loved and suffered loss, or just suffered, should read this book, and re-read it, and re-read it." -- Martin Fletcher Independent "Levels of Life is both a supremely crafted artefact and a desolating guidebook to the land of loss." -- John Carey Sunday Times "While one might expect a Barnes book to impress, delight, move, disconcert or amuse, the last thing for which his work prepares us is the blast of paralysingly direct emotion that concludes Levels of Life." -- Tim Martin Daily Telegraph
Julian Barnes was born in Leicester and moved to London in 1946. He is the author of twenty books, and in 2011 won the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending. He met Pat Kavanagh in 1978. Pat Kavanagh was born in South Africa and moved to London in 1964. She worked in advertising and then, for forty years, as a literary agent. She married Julian Barnes in 1979, and died in 2008.