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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Beat the bestsellers

Beat the bestsellers

Trauma and survival are the themes of a writer whose books are not for the squeamish, says Tony Rossiter

The style and techniques of…

With her exploration of controversial subjects – prostitution, homosexuality, child rape, incest, mental illness, pacifism, war – her books don’t make comfortable reading. Pat Barker has written thirteen novels and is best known for her Regeneration Trilogy (1991-95), the last of which, The Ghost Road, won the Booker prize.

How she began

She remembers teaching herself to read from a girls’ annual at the age of four. As a child she loved reading and got through a book a day, and by the time she was eleven she knew that she wanted to be a writer. She has always read a lot; she particularly enjoys the poetry of George Herbert and John Donne, and she likes crime fiction (favourite authors include Ian Rankin and PD James). She also loves the diary form: her Desert Island Discs book choice was The Assassin’s Cloak, an anthology of diary extracts from different historical periods for each day of the year.

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About Writing Magazine

Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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