London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impression ("First published 1980") of Barnes's first novel under his own name. 8vo: 176pp. Publisher's steel-grey cloth, spine stamped in silver, grey end papers; black typographic dust jacket printed in metallic silver, priced-clipped. Bookplate of Otis Skinner Blodget laid in. Virtually pristine, a Very Fine copy. As New / As New. Item #BB1109
In 1980, after a prolonged apprenticeship (on the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary, reviewing books for the Times Literary Supplement, and as literary editor of the New Statesman), Barnes published this short novel, a charming Bildungsroman centered on a young man growing up in London's northern suburbs (in 1956, Barnes's family moved from Leicester to Northwood, a suburb served by London Underground's Metropolitan line and thus the “Metroland” of his title), obsessed with France (where Barnes spent a year as an English teacher in Rennes), and his coming to terms with life. Metroland was awarded a Somerset Maugham award, given to an outstanding first novel. Note: With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.