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Union Street [Paperback]

Pat Barker


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Book Description

May 13 1982 VMC (Book 463)
Vivid, bawdy and bitter' (The Times), Pat Barker's first novel shows the women of Union Street, young and old, meeting the harsh challeges of poverty and survival in a precarious world. There's Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant; Old Alice, welcoming her impending death; Muriel helplessly watching the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.

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Review

Vivid, bawdy and bitter The Times 'Barker's talent for gently sifting through the hidden depths of the human psyche is awesome' Nova

About the Author

Pat Barker was born in 1943. She was chosen in 1983 as one of the twenty 'Best of Young British' novelists and won the Booker Prize with The Ghost Road in 1995. She lives in Durham.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, painful and moving Nov. 15 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Barker surpases herself with this novel. This novel never reiceived as much acclaim as her price winning REGENERATION trilogy, and, to some extent, I agree the trilogy is more erudite than this gem called UNION STREET, but in terms of human feelings, this novel by far surpasses most of the books I have ever read. It very powerful moving. Barker shows a lot of feeling. Beware though, this book is very painful. I just had to put it aside on a couple of occasions. If you like it, try BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN, also by Barker.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and Moving Jan. 27 2013
By LH422 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Barker's book looks at the lives of women in a working-class neighborhood in northern England. Seven episodes examine the lives of women at every stage of life, from childhood to old age. It offers an unflinching look at the struggles of poverty and unrelenting work.

Sexuality is often dangerous, and the women of Union Street are subjected to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Their lives revolve around trying to take care of families and stretch resources. Each story is compelling, and I was touched by the stories of women barely holding body and soul together. This is a book that makes the reader feel deeply, feel thankful, and recognize much about women's lives, feelings, fears, and responsibilities. Through these stories the reader sees the sum total of a life- the hopes and fears, the pains and celebrations. This is a deeply moving book, and one that is well-worth reading.

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