Granta Reading Poster (Blackwell’s, 1983)

Notes on this item: Poster advertising a public reading of three authors — Julian Barnes, A.N. Wilson, and Adam Mars-Jones — at Blackwell’s, Broad Street, Oxford on March 9, [1983]. The reading is assumed to have taken place in 1983, because the poster advertises the “Best of the Young British Novelists”, from Granta No. 7. Bill Buford, the editor of Granta at that time, discussed in a 2013 article how the famous “Best of the Young British Novelists” list came into existence, stating:

“When the list of 20 under 40 was announced in the Sunday Times, on 22 August 1982, there was no noise or ceremony. Hoopla would have been premature because bountiful stacks of British books wouldn’t be in the shops to buy yet. What mattered was the fortnight of frenzied promotion that was then planned for six months hence” (The Guardian, 6 April 2013).

The Granta issue based on the “20 under 40” list was published in 1983.

This particular poster was acquired by a student attending Oxford at the time, was stored in their attic for nearly two decades, and eventually given to Julian Barnes’s bibliographer, Ryan Roberts. When Roberts presented the poster to Barnes, the author inscribed it:

Bloody Hell
This is/was my
public appearance
Very pre-Ryan …
Julian Barnes

Barnes also playfully drew glasses and a beard on the photo of A.N. Wilson. Measures approximately 12″ x 17″.

“The Case of Inspector Campbell’s Red Hair” in NW15: The Anthology of New Writing (Granta Books, 2007)

Notes on this edition: NW15: The Anthology of New Writing. Edited by Bernadine Evaristo and Maggie Gee. London: Granta Books, 2007. Pp. 316 + [10]. 19.7 x 12.8 cm. ISBN: 9781862079328.

Julian Barnes contributes an essay titled “The Case of Inspector Campbell’s Red Hair” to this collection of new writing (pp. 289-299).

“Harmony” (Granta 109: Work, 2009)

Notes on this edition: “Harmony” by Julian Barnes. London: Granta, 2009. Issue 109 (“Work”). Pp. 97-122. Edited by John Freeman. ISBN: 9781905881130.

Illustration accompanying Barnes’s story by George Butler.

Others authors included in this volume: Daniel Alarcón, Donald Ray Pollock, Steven Hall, Derek Walcott, Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann, Kent Haruf, Mikhael Subotzky, Patrick Waterhouse, Brad Watson, Yiyun Li, Aminatta Forna, Jim Crace, Martin Kimani, Peter Stothard, Ruchir Joshi, V. V. Ganeshananthan, Joshua Ferris, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.



“Emma Bovary’s Eyes” (Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists, 1983)

Notes on this edition: Granta: Best of Young British Novelists, issue 7 (Granta, 1983). ISSN: 0017-3231; ISBN: 0140068333. Edited by Bill Buford and distributed by Penguin Books.

First appearance of Julian Barnes’s story “Emma Bovary’s Eyes” which later appeared as a chapter in his novel Flaubert’s Parrot. The Granta version contains some textual differences from the finished novel and appears on pages 59-67.

Other authors featured in this collection include: Martin Amis, Pat Barker, Ursula Bentley, William Boyd, Buchi Emecheta, Maggie Gee, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alan Judd, Adam Mars-Jones, Ian McEwan, Shiva Naipaul, Philip Norman, Christopher Priest, Salman Rushdie, Lisa de Terán, Clive Sinclair, Graham Swift, Rose Tremain, A. N. Wilson.

“A London View” (Granta 65, Spring 1999)

Notes on this edition: “A London View” by Julian Barnes. Granta 65 (Spring 1999): 176-177. Barnes recalls his early memories of the Metropolitan, Bakerloo and District tube lines.