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The Sense of an Ending


Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize


Available from Vintage International beginning 29 May 2012!

The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian's life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.

Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths?

Paperback editions are now available from Vintage (UK) and Vintage International (US). Hardback editions are still available in the U.S. from Alfred A. Knopf. You may also order a copy from Jonathan Cape, Random House Canada, Waterstones.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, BN.com, or a variety of Independent Booksellers.

 
Julian Barnes Interviews

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (Knopf Jacket)Julian Barnes has given very few interviews in which he discusses The Sense of an Ending, but two of special note are available online for a limited time.

Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel

An hour-long interview with Julian Barnes in which the author discusses the novel, Nothing to Be Frightened of, his family while growing up, and his thoughts on death and the life lived. A wonderful and rich interview.

For the full audio interview, please visit the Writers & Company website.

As It Happens with Carol Off

"I had learnt the ins and outs of not winning the Booker...so it was nice to see the other side," Barnes tells As It Happens host Carol Off during a recent interview.

"I don't start a book until I know that I've got enough to finish it," he said. "Writing fiction is absolutely a self-taught profession. You can go to creative writing classes, but in my view, that helps you take short cuts. But you can only essentially teach yourself, and so I learnt through trial and error not to start a book until I was in a position to see the end."

For the full audio interview, please visit the CBC.ca website.

 
Designing the Cover Art for The Sense of an Ending

Suzanne Dean, Creative Director at Vintage Publishing, discusses her process for designing the cover of Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending.

The video shows numerous examples from her earliest design thoughts through the final cover. Suzanne Dean also designed the jacket for Julian Barnes's recent collection of short stories Pulse.

 
Praise for The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (Knopf Jacket)"Its effect is disturbing – all the more so for being written with Barnes’s habitual lucidity. His reputation will surely be enhanced by this book. Do not be misled by its brevity. Its mystery is as deeply embedded as the most archaic of memories." -- Anita Brookner

"a highly wrought meditation on ageing, memory and regret" -- Justine Jordan, The Guardian

"it's a harsh tale rich in humane resonances" -- Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

"A slow burn, measured but suspenseful, this compact novel makes every slyly crafted sentence count." -- Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

"There is a fierce and unforgiving lucidity about The Sense of an Ending, a mature reckoning with ageing that makes its competitors seem petulant and shrill." -- Geordie Williamson, The Australian

"every word has its part to play" -- Michael Prodger, Financial Times

 

Editions

London: Jonathan Cape, 2011.

London: LRB Bookshop, 2011 [Limited edition of 100 copies, 75 of which have been quarter-bound in Tusting Chestnut fine grain leather with Rainforest cloth sides, numbered 1 to 75, and 25 copies fully bound in the same leather, numbered i to xxv].

Random House Canada, 2011.

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

Reviews

Lezard, Nicholas. "The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - review." Evening Standard, 21 July 2011.

Donaldson, Brian. "Economically-told novella from the master storyteller." The List, 21 July 2011.

Kemp, Peter. "Rewriting History." The Sunday Times, 24 July 2011.

Brookner, Anita. "A Discomfort He Can't Explain." Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2011.

Arditti, Michael. "Literary Fiction." Daily Mail (London), 29 July 2011.

Bray, Christopher. "Gaining a Sense of Understanding." Scottish Express, 29 July 2011: 46.

Jordan, Justine. "The Forgetting Game." The Guardian Review, 30 July 2011: 9 [published online on 26 July 2011 under a different title].

Scurr, Ruth. "Death and hand-cut chips." The Times, 30 July 2011: 44.

Clements, Toby. "The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: review." The Telegraph, 1 August 2011.

Tonkin, Boyd. "The Sense of an Ending, By Julian Barnes." The Independent, 5 August 2011.

"Journey into the past." Kalgoorlie Miner (Western Australia), 5 August 2011: 12.

Wilson, Jill. "Misty watercolour -- and flawed -- memories." Winnipeg Free Press, 6 August 2011.

Williamson, Geordie. "Julian Barnes presents something to be frightened of." The Australian, 6 August 2011.

Prodger, Michael. "The Sense of an Ending." The Financial Times, 6 August 2011.

McGillis, Ian. "Perils of the stiff upper lip." The Gazette (Montreal), 6 August 2011.

Grainger, James. "The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes." The Toronto Star, 6 August 2011.

Robson, Leo. "The Sense of an Ending." The New Statesman, 8 August 2011: 47.

Leggett, Robin. "The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes." TheBookbag.co.uk, August 2011.

"Julian Barnes -- The Sense of an Ending." Time Out (Sydney), 8 August 2011.

Martin, Sandra. "Julian Barnes -- The Sense of an Ending." Globe and Mail, 12 August 2011.

Battersby, Eileen. "An all too human story of great unrest." Irish Times, 13 August 2011.

Trewin, Ion. "Review -- The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes." Scottish Sunday Express, 14 August 2011.

Turrentine, Jeff. "The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes." Washington Post, 10 October 2011.

Kirby, A. J. "The Sense of an Ending." New York Journal of Books, 11 October 2011.

Freeman, John. "With The Sense of An Ending Julian Barnes' writes a novel for the ages." 13 October 2011.

McAlpin, Heller. "Julian Barnes Searches For 'Sense' In A Hazy 'Ending'." NPR Books, 13 October 2011.

Kakutani, Michiko. "Life in Smoke and Mirrors." New York Times, 16 October 2011.

Juska, Jane. "The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes." San Francisco Chronicle, 16 October 2011.

 
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