Virtual Event: Julian Barnes
in conversation with JOE DONAHUE
September 15, 2022
4:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Oblong Books in partnership with Books & Books, Book Hampton, Politics & Prose, and RJ Julia & Knopf welcome Man Booker Prize winning author JULIAN BARNES for a discussion of his highly anticipated new release Elizabeth Finch: A Novel. He will be joined in conversation by radio host JOE DONAHUE.
This event is free to attend. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link. Click here to register. By ordering a copy of Elizabeth Finch on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Elizabeth Finch
This beautiful, spare novel of platonic unrequited love springs into being around the singular character of the stoic, exacting Professor Elizabeth Finch. Neil, the narrator, takes her class “Culture and Civilisation,” taught not for undergraduates but for adults of all ages; we are drawn into his intellectual crush on this private, withholding, yet commanding woman. While other personal relationships and even his family drift from Neil’s grasp, Elizabeth’s application of her material to the matter of daily living remains important to him, even after her death, in a way that nothing else does.
In Elizabeth Finch, we are treated to everything we cherish in Barnes: his eye for the unorthodox forms love can take between two people, a compelling swerve into nonfictional material (this time, through Neil’s obsessive study of Julian the Apostate, following on notes Elizabeth left for him to discover after her death), and the forcefully moving undercurrent of history, and biography in particular, as nourishment and guide in our current lives.
Praise for Elizabeth Finch
“A novel of ideas . . . with barely a sentence in it that doesn’t have some nutritional value . . . I’ll remember Elizabeth Finch when most other characters I’ve met this year have faded.” —John Self, The Times (UK)
"Everything Barnes writes changes everything . . . Barnes's latest novel, must be read at least twice for the full force of its voltage to be felt . . . A cryptic crossword of a novel, Elizabeth Finch is a trickier and even brainier version of Flaubert's Parrot." —Frances Wilson, Oldie
"The book's central and most enthralling section . . . deals with a figure Elizabeth Finch esteemed as a kindred spirit: Julian the Apostate . . . A bravura exercise in nimbly handled erudition . . . [Elizabeth Finch] also celebrates the cast of mind Barnes most prizes. A connoisseur and master of irony himself, he fills this book with instances of its exhilarating power." —Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
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