|Publisher:||Knopf Random Vintage Canada||Published:||April 17th 2018|
From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending, an achingly profound love story between a young man on the cusp of adulthood and a woman whose life is gradually moving in the opposite direction.
Most of us have only one story to tell. I don't mean that only one thing happens to us in our lives: there are countless events, which we turn into countless stories. But there's only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine.
It is the early 1960s, in a staid suburb fifteen miles south of London. Paul, home from university for the holidays, is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. At the mixed doubles tournament he is partnered with Mrs. Susan Macleod: she's more than twice his age, and the married mother of two nearly grown-up daughters. Soon Paul and Susan embark on an unconventional affair, despite the disapproval of Paul's parents and the seething resentment of Susan's husband.
First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn't know anything about that at nineteen. But as he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.
Wryly observant and devastatingly tender, The Only Story is a profound, contemplative novel by one of fiction's greatest mappers of the human heart.
JULIAN BARNES is the author of twenty-one previous books, for which he has received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the French Prix Medicis and Prix Femina; the Austrian State Prize for European Literature; and in 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in London.