Chums of War
Pat Barker revisits the trauma of World War I
by Pat Barker
$23.95 List Price
After more than a dozen years and three other novels, Pat Barker's World War I trilogy––Regeneration (1991), The Eye in the Door (1993), and The Ghost Road (1995)—remains a notable example of scrupulous historical realism quite happily unencumbered by postmodernist prejudices. In a 2003 interview in Bookforum, she was blunt: "What fiction has to offer is, above all, characterization. If this makes me a tremendously old-fashioned novelist, I don't care." How she has practiced her "tremendously old-fashioned" art deserves attention now that she is publishing her eleventh book, which returns to World War I.
Barker's first three novels—Union Street (1982), Blow Your House Down (1984), and Liza's England (1986; originally published as The Century's Daughter)—portrayed the lives of urban working-class women in Yorkshire
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