Blow Your House Down

Overview

A city and its people are in the terrifying grip of a killer. Singling out prostitutes, the face of his latest victim stares out of every newspaper, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, mother of three, can¹t afford to give up, while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on "working the cars." And then, when another woman is savagely murdered, her lover Jean takes desperate measures. Pat Barker is the author of the widely hailed Regeneration trilogy, which includes The ...

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Overview

A city and its people are in the terrifying grip of a killer. Singling out prostitutes, the face of his latest victim stares out of every newspaper, haunting the women who walk the streets. But life and work go on. Brenda, mother of three, can¹t afford to give up, while Audrey, now in her forties, desperately goes on "working the cars." And then, when another woman is savagely murdered, her lover Jean takes desperate measures. Pat Barker is the author of the widely hailed Regeneration trilogy, which includes The Ghost Road, winner of the 1995 Booker Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Katha Pollitt
''Blow Your House Down'' is swift, spare and utterly absorbing - you'll probably read it in one tense sitting....If the plot could have used some rethinking, the novel nonetheless presents a remarkable portrait of the women themselves. Literature is full of prostitutes, of course, but most of them are male fantasies of one sort or another....Mrs. Barker is able to make us see her characters from within, as they see themselves, and thereby reveals the full individuality and humanity of women who have got short shrift both in literature and in life. That makes Pat Barker a feminist. It also makes her a wonderful writer. -- New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780860683988
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1990
  • Series: Virago Modern Classics
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Barker
Pat Barker
One of Britain's most acclaimed contemporary novelists, Booker Prize-winner Pat Barker is known for her Regeneration trilogy, which brought readers a compelling look at the World War I period.

Biography

It took Pat Barker ten years to find a publisher for her first novel, but when Union Street was released in 1982, critical reaction was extremely positive. A gritty tale set in the 1970s, the book recounts the interconnected stories of seven women living in an industrial town in northern England. Barker, a former teacher of history and politics, was recognized as a formidable, if late-blooming talent. In its review, The New York Times mused, "Pat Barker gives the sense of a writer who has enormous power that she has scarcely had to tap to write a first-rate first novel." The literati agreed. The following year, Barker appeared on Granta magazine's list of the 20 Best Young British Novelists alongside such future luminaries as Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, and Ian McEwan.

Although Barker received critical praise for her early books, tales that limned the bleak lives of working class Britons, she struck her most resonant chord with the Regeneration Trilogy, a series of novels based on the experiences of shell-shocked WWI soldiers (including poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen) at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Scotland. The first novel in the trilogy, the splendid Regeneration, was named by The New York Times as one of the four best books of 1991; its sequel, The Eye in the Door, won the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1993; and the concluding novel, The Ghost Road, was awarded the 1995 Booker Prize for Fiction.

Certainly, Barker has explored the nuances of contemporary civilian life in subsequent novels; but the specter of war, especially the Great War, seems always to loom over her writing. One explanation is that the grandfather who raised her fought in the trenches in France. Although he seldom spoke about the war, it came to haunt him in his later life. Even unvoiced, his wartime experiences became part of her childhood "stock of memories."

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    1. Hometown:
      Durham, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 8, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      Thornaby-on-Tees, England
    1. Education:
      London School of Economics; Durham University

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