"After winning the David Cohen Prize earlier this year, Julian Barnes may finally add the Booker to his list of awards. Previously shortlisted in 1984 for Flaubert's Parrot, in 1998 for England, England and in 2005 for Arthur and George, Barnes has now made the 2011 shortlist of six for his recent novel(la) The Sense of an Ending. A meditation on remorse and 'damage' affecting a retired arts administrator suddenly prompted to look back on past relationships, Barnes's existentialist study of causation in personal history echoes previous novels' dominant themes, especially the unreliability of memory. If worried that it will not be fourth time lucky for Barnes with The Sense of an Ending, admirers of his fiction may be reassured to know that Bookmakers have made Barnes the out-and out favourite for the £50,000 prize."
Peter Childs is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. He is a Consultant Editor on Continuum's Contemporary Critical Perspectives series and author of the Julian Barnes volume in the series, amongst many other publications.