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Double Vision

A Novel

Pat Barker

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A gripping novel about the effects of violence on the journalists and artists who have dedicated themselves to representing it

In the aftermath of September 11, reeling from the effects of reporting from New York City, two British journalists, a writer, Stephen Sharkey, and a photographer, Ben Frobisher, part ways. Stephen, facing the almost simultaneous discovery that his wife is having an affair, returns to England shattered; he divorces and quits his job. Ben returns to his vocation. He follows the war on terror to Afghanistan and is killed.

Stephen retreats to a cottage in the country to write a book about violence, and what he sees as the reporting journalist's or photographer's complicity in it; it is a book that will build in large part on Ben's writing and photography. Ben's widow, Kate, a sculptor, lives nearby, and as she and Stephen learn about each other their world speedily shrinks, in pleasing but also disturbing ways; Stephen's maid, with whom he has begun an affair, was once lovers with Kate's new studio assistant, an odd local man named Peter. As these connections become clear, Peter's strange behavior around Stephen and Kate begins to take on threatening implications. The sinister events that take place in this small town, so far from the theaters of war Stephen has retreated from, will force him to act instinctively, violently, and to face his most painful revelations about himself.

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Excerpt from Double Vision by Pat Barker. Copyright © 2003 by Pat Barker. To be published in December, 2003 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


1

CHRISTMAS WAS OVER. Feeling a shame-faced pleasure in the restoration of normality, Kate stripped the tree of lights and decorations, cut off the main branches and dragged the trunk down to the compost heap at the bottom of the garden. There she stood looking back at the house, empty again now-her mother and sister had left the morning after Boxing Day-seeing the lighted windows and reflected firelight almost
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Pat Barker

  • Pat Barker is the author of nine novels, most recently Border Crossing. For her highly acclaimed Regeneration Trilogy, she was awarded the Guardian fiction prize and the Booker Prize. She lives in England.
  • Pat Barker Copyright Ellen Warner
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Double Vision

A Novel

Pat Barker

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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