Pat Barker’s most recent novel,

Life Class

(2007), is in many ways a neat culmination of her current body of work. The novel returns to the Great War, the site of Barker’s greatest commercial success, the


trilogy (1991-95), but it also picks up the concern of her early work with twentieth-century working-class life and the struggles of gender and sexuality; perhaps most powerfully, it engages with and develops her later ideas about the role of art and of the artist in the face of trauma, and in particular, war. This juxtaposition of art and war may be seen to form the crux of her latest novel. The life class of Barker’s text is not only a site for the study of the human body, but of the human condition as well. The novel seeks to unpack what it might mean to create or…

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Citation: Gildersleeve, Jessica. "Life Class". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 April 2008 [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

23014 Life Class 3 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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