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Flaccid French letters

Julian Barnes's nostalgia for lost Gallic virtues pleases both the French and the English

By Tim King   February 2002

Something to declare

Julian Barnes (Picador, £8.99)?

Sebastian Faulks, Pat Barker, Peter Everett, Ian McEwan, Richard Holmes, Theodore Zeldin, Gillian Tindall, Rose Tremain, Hilary Mantel, Geoff Dyer, Michà¨le Roberts. In recent times these and many other British writers have created or recreated stories out of France, continuing a tradition that goes back through Lawrence Durrell, past Dickens and then to Fanny Burney and her uncle Arthur Young. France remains a rich seam for British writers because it is fascinating to British readers-although for no clear reason,

Few of the writers listed above strike it rich with French readers.…

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