Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee travel to France in search of the places and people which inspired his novel of adolescent love Le Grand Meaulnes. Part 1: A Childhood in Sologne. The village school where Fournier's father taught, the holidays he spent at his grandparents' cottage and the tumbledown house in the woods nearby fed the imagination of Henri Alban-Fournier. He drew on these locations when creating his only finished novel Le Grand Meaulnes, a simply written story of love and longing as an adventuring schoolboy discovers an almost mythical lost estate lived in by a young women, which the writer published under his pen name 'Alain-Fournier'. Auguste Meaulnes' fictional quest to retrace his steps and find the woman he dreams about echoes Fournier's own romantic obsession with a young woman he encountered briefly in Paris - whom he later traced using private detectives.
No year is complete without a bit of reading reflection, and as we gaze at 2019's shelves, we're more than a bit pleased with the boldness and breadth of the last 12 months of VINTAGE books. From an insider's look at the realities of modern-day poverty to an acclaimed expose of the data bias towards men, and a long-awaited, Booker-winning dystopian smash hit, here are 10 of the biggest highlights.
An extract from the archive edition of Metroland
Man Booker Prize-winner Julian Barnes discusses the cover design of his new novel, The Noise of Time, with Suzanne Dean. Joined by Alex Clark, they recall key moments in their twenty-year working relationship, as well as the iconic covers that have been created.