Which of two stuffed parrots was the inspiration for one of Flaubert's greatest stories? Why did the master keep changing the colour of Emma Bovary's eyes? And why should it matter so much to Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired doctor haunted by a private secret? In Flaubert's Parrot , Julian Barnes spins out a multiple mystery of obsession and betrayal (both scholarly and romantic) and creates an exuberant enquiry into the ways in which art mirrors life and then turns around to shape it. A gem: an unashamed literary vel that is also unashamed to be readable, and broadly entertaining. Bravo! - John Irving. Endless food for thought, beautifully written ...A tour de force - Germaine Greer. Delightful and enriching ...A book to read - Joseph Heller. A dazzling achievement ...remarkably inventive as well as audacious - Walter Abish. A delight ...Handsomely the best vel published in England in 1984 - John Fowles.
Julian Barnes has published nine novels, Metroland, Before She Met Me , Flaubert's Parrot, Staring at the Sun, A History of the World in 10 Chapters, Talking It Over, The Porcupine, England, England and Love, etc; two books of short stories, Cross Channel and The Lemon Table; and also two collections of essays, Letters from London and Something to Declare. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Medicis (for Flaubert's Parrot ) and the Prix Femina (for Talking It Over). In 1993 he was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the FVS Foundation of Hamburg. He lives in London.