The-only-story
2020 Longlist

The Only Story

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

2020 Longlist

One summer in the sixties, in a staid suburb south of London, nineteen-year-old Paul comes home from university and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. There he’s partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who’s forty-eight, confident, witty, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is a warm companion, her bond with Paul immediate. And soon, inevitably, they are lovers.

Basking in the glow of one another, they set up house together in London. Decades later, Paul looks back at how they fell in love and how -gradually, relentlessly – everything fell apart. As he turns over his only story in his mind, examining it from different vantage points, he finds himself confronted with the contradictions and slips of his own memory and the ways in which our narratives and our lives shape one another.

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of twenty-two previous books. He received the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending, and has also received the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and many more awards. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in London.

Librarian’s Comments

The novel is a retrospective “history” of the first love and its unforseen impact on the character and life of a protagonist (and narrator in one person). The story told with wry humour and deep sadness reveals itself in his memory as something bright and vague if not erratic at the same time. This is a tour-de-force of Julian Barnes, who is in his late seventies. M. Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Russia

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Julian
Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including The Sense of an Ending, Metroland, Flaubert’s Parrot, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters and Arthur and George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.

His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.

Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including The Sense of an Ending, Metroland, Flaubert’s Parrot, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters and Arthur and George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.

His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Author
Publisher
Jonathan Cape

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