fellow classmates

LIFE CLASS
by Pat Barker

Twelve years after winning the Booker prize for Ghost Road, the last instalment in her First World War trilogy, British writer and historian Pat Barker returns to the muddy trenches of war-torn Europe in a brilliant new novel that will no doubt secure her tenure as one of the great fiction writers of the genre.

The perspective this time is filtered through the eyes of a group of young artists attending London’s renowned Slade School of Art. It’s 1914, the eve of the war, but the effete group is otherwise preoccupied. For them, these are heady times: the age of Bloomsbury and the apogee of the Modernist movement are the real sources of drama. As she has done in the past, Barker peoples the novel with a number of real historical figures, among them the students’ life class professor, Henry Tonks, a doctor and early pioneer of plastic surgery during the war. Read more…