Julian Barnes treats history with a whip of irony. An indignant yet playful voice streams through his novels, a voice that asks just how dependent we are on our past and why. Is history a crutch that actually handicaps us? Is our belief that the past offers the ultimate purchase on truth a massive de
In the introduction to her novel "Babel Tower," A.S. Byatt says that her intention was to write a book without metaphors. Apparently this proved a difficult feat: "The best I could do was a kind of regretful commentary on the impossibility of refraining from metaphor."
Right. Byatt is a serious m
Tom Stoppard's intention is always to entertain, first and foremost. Though his plays are intellectually and philosophically rigorous, they're also good stories told with voluble wit. Sometimes he takes too easy a road to difficult issues in science and history, and for this he has been criticized by
Jane Austen has been reincarnated in the personage of Kazuo Ishiguro. The great novelist of early-nineteenth-century English manners, who observed the moral inconsistencies of the nobility and argued for a form of social meritocracy, could not have hoped for a more loyal and perfect heir to her legac