Happy Birthday, Pat Barker, born 8 May 1943
- Another person’s life, observed from the outside, always has a shape and definition that one’s own life lacks.
- Fiction should be about moral dilemmas that are so bloody difficult that the author doesn’t know the answer. What I hate in fiction is when the author knows better than the characters what they should do.
- The past is a palimpsest. Early memories are always obscured by accumulations of later knowledge.
- Looking straight at the world is part of your duty as a writer.
- A society that devours its own young deserves no automatic or unquestioning allegiance.
- That balance between involvement and detachment is what novelists do. It’s the ideal relationship between a novelist and a character.
- When I’m writing the first draft, I’m writing in a very slovenly way: anything to get the outline of the story on paper.
Pat Barker is an English writer and novelist. She has won many awards for her fiction, which centres on themes of memory, trauma, survival and recovery. In 2012, The Observer named the Regeneration Trilogy as one of “The 10 best historical novels”.