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Pat Barker’s Regeneration

The Story


For Pat Barker, the path to an acclaimed trilogy of novels and the Booker Prize started with her grandfather's bayonet wound. A souvenir of his service in the First World War, the scar had become part of the family history, and the Great War was a familiar theme. In 1992 Barker wrote Regeneration, the first of a three-part series about the First World War. In a 1997 interview on CBC Radio's Writers and Company, Barker talks about the real and invented characters in the series and the respect she has for her readers.

Medium: Radio
Program: Writers & Company
Broadcast Date: Nov. 9, 1997
Guest(s): Pat Barker
Host: Eleanor Wachtel
Duration: 48:11
Photo: Craiglockhart War Hospital

Did You know?


• Pat Barker's grandfather - a man who helped to raise her - later became the inspiration for a character named Geordie in her 1999 book Another World. Geordie, too, has a bayonet wound, and like Barker's grandfather, he believes that the pain of his cancer decades later stems from the wound. "I was fascinated by the idea that in each case the man needs to believe that the war is what's killing him," Barker told the New York Times.
• The third book in the Regeneration series, The Ghost Road, won the Booker Prize in 1995.


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