A Writer in Hiding
I first saw A. L. Barker’s books lined up in a row on a shelf in the University of East Anglia library, their dust covers removed, their red, blue and green cloth bindings faded, their pages clean and unmarked – it seemed as if they’d never been read. I borrowed the books and read them one after another. Here was a writer who clearly deserved attention. Her fiction seemed so contemporary, not in terms of style but because of the ideas with which it grappled: the strangeness of so-called ordinary life; the dangers of ignorance or innocence; the consequences of taking, and not taking, action . . .