The Lemon Table

Awarded the Critics' Prize of the Bilbao Book Fair (2006)
The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes

In stories brimming with life and our desire to hang on to it one way or another, Julian Barnes proves himself by turns wise, funny, clever, and profound, creating characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by their knowledge of the final certainty that awaits each and every one of them.

The characters in The Lemon Table are growing old and facing the end of their lives—some with bitter regret, others with resignation, and others still with defiant rage. And their circumstances are just as varied as their responses—from nineteenth-century Sweden and Russia to a barbershop in contemporary England. In "The Silence," a famous composer, deserted by his muse, counts the days he manages without a drink. In "Knowing French," a fiercely independent eighty-one-year-old begins a correspondence with an author that enriches both either lives. A woman reads elaborate recipes to her sick husband in "Appetite," and in "Hygiene" a retired soldier, while making his annual trip to a regimental dinner, runs errands in the city for his wife but mostly looks forward to spending the afternoon with a professional lady called Babs.

"stories that are as affecting as they are cunning, as emotionally resonant as they are prettily fashioned" -Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"Throughout the book there is a sense of a master at work, a writer in absolute control of his material, able to pack a short story with a range of perceptions and insights that would put many full-length novels to shame by comparison." -Martin Rubin, San Francisco Chronicle

"In this rich collection, it is difficult to know where to begin to lavish the praise it deserves." -Carol Herman, The Washington Times



NOTE: When possible, editions are linked to entries in the online Julian Barnes Bibliography. These entries feature multiple images of the book and additional bibliographic details.
The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes
English Editions

The Lemon Table. London: Jonathan Cape, 2004 £16.99.

The Lemon Table. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. $22.95.

The Lemon Table. Toronto: Random House Canada, 2004. $29.95.

The Lemon Table. London: Picador, 2005.

The Lemon Table. New York: Vintage International, 2005.

Audio Editions

The Lemon Table. Read by Timothy West and Prunella Scales
[4 CD Audiobook, Unabridged, 6 hours, 7 minutes]

Translated Editions

Bulgarian - Limoni na masata (The Lemon Table). Sofia: Obsidian Press, 2004. Pp. 240. Translated by Dimitrina Kondeva. ISBN: 9547690760

Portuguese - Um toque de limão. Porto: Edições ASA ISBN: 9789892300719; Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2004. Pp. 268. Translated by Ana Deiró.

Dutch - De citroentafel. Amsterdam/Antwerpen: Uitgeverij Atlas, 2005. Pp. 222. Translated by Jelle Noorman.

Romanian - Tristeti de lamîie. Bucuresti: Nemira, 2005. Pp. 253. Translated by Mihai Moroiu.

Spanish - La mesa limón. Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 2005. Pp. 240. Translated by Jaime Zulaika. ISBN: ISBN: 9788433970688.

German - Der Zitronentisch. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2005. Pp. 256. Translated by Gertraude Krueger. ISBN: 9783462036169.

French - La table citron. Collection Bibliothéque étrangère, Mercure de France, 2006. Pp. 256. Translated by Jean-Pierre Aoustin. ISBN: 2715225180.

Russian - Limonnyi stol. Moskva: AST: Tranzitkniga, 2006. Pp. 221. Translated by I. Gurovoi & L. Motyleva.

Danish - Citronbordet. København: Tiderne Skifter, 2006. Pp. 241. Translated by Claus Bech.

Hebrew - Shulhan ha-limon. Israel: Zemorah-Bitan, 2008. Pp. 219. Translated by Ortal Arikah.

Turkish - Limon Masasý. Istanbul: Ayrinti Yayinlari, 2006. Pp. 192. Translated by Serdar Rifat Kirkoglu.


09/01/2005 - Julian Barnes in Conversation - James McCloskey, The Brooklyn Rail

03/21/2004 - Reflections on This Mortal Coil - Aidan Smith, Scotland on Sunday p.4

03/13/2004 - Un homme serieux - Valerie Grove, The Times (London) p.10-11

03/02/2004 - Julian Barnes - Mark Lawson, BBC Radio 4 Front Row


10/21/2004 - Stiff Upper Lip - Diane Johnson, New York Review of Books 51(6)

09/05/2004 - Saving Their Place - Jennifer Levasseur, Times-Picayune (New Orleans) p.8

09/04/2004 - Collection Focuses on Elderly, But Never Shows Its Age - Jeff Baker, Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN)

08/21/2004 - Now Home Is Where Her Art Is - Rosemary Goring, The Herald (Glasgow)
[Barnes briefly quoted regarding the inspiration for The Lemon Table.]

08/15/2004 - Masterful Stories Explore Joys, Sorrows of Aging - Greg Johnson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution p.5

08/12/2004 - Making Lemonade - Rachel Aviv, Nashville Scene

08/06/2004 - Later Years of Life Prominent in 'Lemon Table' - Ruth Taber, El Paso Times

08/01/2004 - Taking Short Breaths Of Life - Theodora Schmid, Tampa Tribune (Florida) p.5

08/01/2004 - Lives in Twilight, Full of Longing and Resignation - Valerie Ryan, The Seattle Times p.K10

08/01/2004 - Smart Short Stories Chronicle the Wisdom of the Aged - Jeff Baker, The Oregonian p.D9

07/25/2004 - An Unsparing View of Life - Ariel Gonzalez, Miami Herald

07/25/2004 - Our Editors Recommend - San Francisco Chronicle p.M2

07/23/2004 - Fine Dining at the Lemon Table - Peter Craven, Australian Financial Review p.8

07/19/2004 - Not About Old Age, Exactly, But How Aging Is Experienced - James Hunter, New York Observer p.2

07/18/2004 - Improving With Age - Martin Rubin, San Francisco Chronicle p.M1

07/18/2004 - 'Lemon Table' Tales Enchant Reader - Dennis Lythgoe, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

07/17/2004 - Old Doesn't Equal Serene - Tod Hoffman, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec) p.H4

07/17/2004 - Not a Lemon in the Bunch - André Alexis, Globe & Mail p.D7

07/11/2004 - Aging Pains - Peter Stewart, New York Post

07/11/2004 - Fear of the End - John Freeman, Hartford Courant (Connecticut) p.G3
[Reprinted as "Lemon Table Is Searing Look at Aging." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 18 July 2004 p.F12 and as "Aging, With Bathos and Gallows Humor." Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)]

07/11/2004 - Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit - Jodi Daynard, Boston Globe p.D6

07/11/2004 - The Bittersweet Taste of Life's Denouement - Jane Ciabattari, Los Angeles Times Book Review p.7

07/09/2004 - Death Be Not Proud - Liza Weisstuch, The Providence Phoenix

07/09/2007 - Deathly Prose - Carolyn See, The Washington Post Book World p.C3
[Reprinted as "Tales That Dare to Speak Ill of the Dying" Chicago Sun-Times 25 July 2004 p.14]

07/07/2004 - Recent Fiction - Benjamin Lytal, New York Sun p.15

07/04/2004 - Bitter Slices of Life - Charles May, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) p.4

07/04/2004 - Gazing on Life's Last Act - Carol Herman, The Washington Times p.B6

07/2004 - Big Important Book of the Month - Adrienne Miller, Esquire

06/27/2004 - As Young As You Feel - Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review p.7

06/22/2004 - A Writer Who Uses Death As His Protagonist Michiko Kakutani, New York Times p.1

06/01/2004 - The Lemon Table - Barbara Love, Library Journal p.128

05/31/2004 - Sweet and Sour - Carlo Wolff, St. Petersburg Times (Florida) p.1E

05/10/2004 - The Lemon Table - Publishers Weekly p.33 [Starred Review]

05/06/2004 - Julian Makes Short Work of Growing Old - Gerald Isaaman, Camden Journal p.23

05/2004 - radar/books: THE LEMON TABLE - JE, Flux

04/15/2004 - Like Choosing Between Bacon and Eggs and Bacon and Tomato - Christopher Tayler, London Review of Books (26.8) p.17

04/14/2004 - Julian Barnes: The Lemon Table - Michele Hewitson, The New Zealand Herald

04/11/2004 - Dark and droll - Owen Marshall, Sunday Star-Times (Auckland, New Zealand) p.31

04/03/2004 - Cooped Up in the Middle - Mary Morrissy, The Irish Times p.60

04/01/2004 - The Lemon Table: Stories - Kirkus Reviews (72.7) p.283 [Starred Review]

04/2004 - Death, etc - Jeff Hudson, Ink p.67-70 [Profile with Photos and Interview]

03/31/2004 - The Lemon Table - John O'Connell, Time Out p.54

03/28/2004 - The Lemon Table - David Wilson, South China Morning Post p.8

03/25/2004 - Daunting Proximity of Age for the Elderly Englishman - Frank Kermode, Guardian Weekly

03/23/2004 - If You Have Time for Only One Book.... - Clara Chow, The Straits Times (Singapore)

03/21/2004 - Every Second Counts When the End Is Nigh - Alan Taylor, The Sunday Herald

03/20/2004 - Novel of the Week - The Week

03/20/2004 - The Bitter Art of the Short Story - Tim Ross, Worcester Evening News
[Reprinted in The Hartlepool Mail, 20 March 2004; reprinted in edited form in South London Press, 20 March 2004; reprinted in edited form in Belfast News Letter Group, 20 March 2004.]

03/19/2004 - Sweet and Sour Tales of Death and Dying - Peter J Conradi, The Independent (London) p.29

03/19/2004 - NB - J.C., TLS (5268) p.14
[Questions why the U.K. edition of The Lemon Table does not list where the short stories were previously published.]

03/15/2004 - Do Not Go Gentle - Amanda Craig, New Statesman p.55

03/15/2004 - The Digested Read - The Guardian

03/15/2004 - The Lemon Table - Kirsty Wark, John Harris, Bonnie Greer, Adam Mars-Jones. BBC Newsnight Review
[Panel's review taken from the teletext subtitles that are generated live for Newsnight Review.]

03/14/2004 - Short and Sweet - Mail on Sunday (London) p.70

03/14/2004 - Things Can Only Get Bitter - Stephanie Merritt, The Observer

03/13/2004 - Age Has Not Withered Him - Frank Kermode, The Guardian p.26

03/13/2004 - All Life Is Here, But It's Getting Old - Alastair Mabbott, Glasgow Herald

03/13/2004 - Longing to be Noticed - Ann Wroe, Daily Telegraph (London) p.3

03/13/2004 - The Greater and the Lesser Pain - Robert McFarlane, TLS (5267) p.19

03/13/2004 - Tremors at Twilight - Allan Massie, The Scotsman p.9

03/12/2004 - New Fiction - John Harding, Daily Mail (London) p.56

03/07/2004 - Age before Beauty - Alex Clark, Sunday Times (London) p.53

03/07/2004 - How to Pass the Acid Test - Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph p.16

03/06/2004 - Beautifully Bitter Taste of Anger in Old Age - John Whelan, Daily News (New Plymouth, New Zealand) p.18

03/06/2004 - At the Dying of the Day - Angel Quintana, Financial Times Weekend Magazine p.32

03/05/2004 - Insight into the Horrors of Old Age - Michael Arditti, The Express p.45

03/01/2004 - Chewing Over Old Times at the End of the Day - Rachel Cusk, Evening Standard (London) p.43

03/2004 - Books - Richard Martin, London Medical Student (9) Student Culture Section, iii

03/2004 - To the Bitter End - Rachel Hore, Literary Review (London)

Spanish Translation

06/08/2005 - Julian Barnes ataca la idea de la vellesa tranquil·la - vLex

06/07/2005 - Julian Barnes considera que el 'Quijote' es una novela inagotable sobre el fracaso - Israel Punzano, El Pais