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The stories in Julian Barnes' long-awaited third collection are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. A divorcee falls in love with a mysterious European waitress; a widower relives a favourite holiday; two writers rehearse familiar arguments; a couple bond, fall out and bond again over flowers and vegetable patches. And at a series of evenings at 'Phil & Joanna's', the topics of conversation range from the environment to the Britishness of marmalade, from toilet graffiti to smoking, as we witness the guests' lives in flux.
Ranging from the domestic to the extraordinary, from the vineyards of Italy to the English seaside in winter, the stories in Pulse resonate and spark.