Barry Unsworth (3052 words)

Context

Barry Unsworth's seventeen novels offer a feast of reading; he was a vigorous, highly-skilled storyteller who could conjure up ancient Greece, medieval Sicily, fourteenth-century England, Renaissance Venice, colonial Florida, Ottoman Constantinople, Mesopotamia in 1914, Thatcher's Liverpool, 1990s Umbria, and a host of other times and places. His fiction supplements its broadly realistic approach with elements from a variety of popular genres and literary modes: the historical novel, Gothic fiction, the spy thriller, the murder mystery, satire, black comedy, symbolism and metafiction. His key themes are the upsurge of unrecognized or unsatisfied desires; the “ancient urge”, as his best-known book, Sacred Hunger (1992), puts …

Citation: Tredell, Nicolas. "Barry Unsworth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2006; last revised 01 November 2012. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4501, accessed 16 October 2021.]

4501 Barry Unsworth 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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