Literature Nicola Barker Clear

ISBN 13: 9780007192410

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*Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004 *A Granta Best of British Novelist 2003 *Winner of the IMPAC PRIZE for her novel Wide Open On 5th September 2003, New York Illusionist David Blaine entered a small perspex box adjacent to the River Thames and commenced starving himself. Forty-four days later -- on 19th October -- he left the box, four stone lighter. That much, at least, is clear. And the rest? The crowds? The chaos? The hype? The rage? The rows? The lust? The filth? The bullshit? The hypocrisy? Nicola Barker fearlessly crams all that and more into this ribald and outrageous peep show of a novel, her most irreverent, caustic, up-to-the-minute work yet, laying bare the heart of our contemporary world, a world of illusion, delusion, celebrity and hunger.

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About the Author:

Nicola Barker lives and works in east London. She was the winner of the David Higham Prize for Fiction and joint winner of the Macmillan Silver Pen Award for Love Your Enemies,her first collection of stories. Her second story collection,Heading Inland,received the John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. Her novel Wide Open won the IMPAC Prize in 2000. She is one of Granta's 'Best Young British Novelists'of the decade.

From Publishers Weekly:

With her fresh, confident sophomore novel (after Behindlings), Barker offers a meditation on illusionist David Blaine's feat of self-starvation—44 days spent suspended in a clear box above the Thames River. Analytical narrator Adie, a prickly, literate young man who works in an office overlooking the Blaine spectacle, carefully dissects the psychology of both Blaine and the hordes of onlookers who feed him attention as he slowly starves. Meanwhile, Adie's own drama unfolds, set off by a strange encounter with Aphra, a perplexing girl with a freakish sense of smell and a fetish for vintage shoes who spends her nights on the riverbank watching Blaine sleep. As Adie's involvement with Aphra grows more complicated, his initially cynical interest in Blaine becomes more obsessive. "Perhaps... this loopy illusionist has tapped into something.... A fury. A disillusionment," Adie muses, ruminating on the vileness and beauty that Blaine's presence has brought out among Brits. Despite Adie's determined disdain for the man, the unwelcome "Hunger Artist" leads him to wonder if "Some things are beyond the reach of art. Some words are meaningful beyond understanding." Offbeat and authentic, intellectual and accessible, Barker's is an original voice. (June)
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Nicola Barker
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