Union Street and Blow Your House Down

Overview

Union Street, Pat Barker's first novel, concerns seven neighboring women near a factory in northeast England. Life for these women is trying: some of them are married to alcoholics, some are victims of abuse; one is old and near death, another is still a child but has the experience of an adult; all are struggling to survive. First published in 1982, it was made into the film Stanley & Iris by MGM in 1989, starring Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda

Blow Your House Down, Barker's ...

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Overview

Union Street, Pat Barker's first novel, concerns seven neighboring women near a factory in northeast England. Life for these women is trying: some of them are married to alcoholics, some are victims of abuse; one is old and near death, another is still a child but has the experience of an adult; all are struggling to survive. First published in 1982, it was made into the film Stanley & Iris by MGM in 1989, starring Robert DeNiro and Jane Fonda

Blow Your House Down, Barker's second novel, also portrays the lives of women in industrial England—but these women are prostitutes, living in a northern England city that is stalked by a vicious, Jack the Ripper-style serial killer who is singling out women with nowhere else to go.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Union Street

"A first-rate first novel . . . pungent, raunchy dialogue . . . passages of fine understated wit." —Ivan Gold, The New York Times Book Review

"The novel's point is life, and how rich and hard it is, and the different ways people have of toughing it through the pain without being crushed." —Meredith Tax, The Village Voice

Praise for Blow Your House Down

"A courageous and disturbing novel." —Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World

"Swift, spare, and utterly absorbing . . . [Barker] makes 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." —Katha Pollitt, The New York Times Book Review

Katha Pollitt
Barker is able to make us see her characters from within, as they see themselves....[The novel is] swift, spare and utterly absorbing.
The New York Times Book Review
Elizabeth Ward
A courageous and disturbing novel.
The Washington Post Book World
Meredith Tax
The novel's point is life, and how rich and hard it is, and the different ways people have of toughing it through the pain without being crushed.
The Village Voice
Ivan Gold
A first-rate first novel…pungent, raunchy dialogue…passages of fine understated wit.
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312240899
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: First Picador USA Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,439,430
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Barker is one of England's most important contemporary novelists. She won the Booker Prize in 1995 for The Ghost Road, the final volume in her World War I trilogy that includes Regeneration and The Eye in the Door. Her latest novels are Another World and Border Crossing.

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