Synopses & Reviews
Jean Serjeant, the heroine of Julian Barnes's wonderfully provocative novel, seems ordinary, but has an extraordinary disdain for wisdom. And as Barnes--author of The Porcupine and Talking It Over--follows her from her childhood in the 1920s to her flight into the sun in the year 2021, he confronts readers with the fruits of her relentless curiosity: pilgrimages to China and the Grand Canyon; a catalog of 1940s sexual euphemisms; and a glimpse of technology in the twenty-first century (when The Absolute Truth can be universally accessed).
"Julian Barnes interrupted this novel to write Flaubert's Parrott, and something got lost in the shuffle. Staring at the Sun chronicles the rather drab life of Jean Serjeant, a sensibly shod and properly cold Englishwoman, over the century of her life, which ends about 2021. No writer today has a better or more graceful command of English than Mr. Barnes, but this particular story cannot really bear the weight of his own talent. It is a good try but no more than that." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
About the Author
Born in Leicester in 1946, Julian Barnes is the author of nine novels, a book of stories, and a collection of essays. He has won both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Fémina, and in 1988 was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London.