Nicola Barker’s nine novels include Darkmans (short-listed for the 2007 Man Booker and Ondaatje prizes, and winner of the Hawthornden Prize), Wide Open (winner of the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and Clear (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2004). She has also written two prize-winning collections of short stories, and her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in East London.
Before posting a bit on this delightful story by Nicola Barker I want to let my readers know about a very worth buying anthology of short stories I have recently acquired. The Story - Love, Loss, and the Lives of Women edited by Victoria Hislop. There are 100 stories in the collection, mostly from contemporary writers but some by Dorothy Parker and Katherine Mansfield. The writers included are among the very best writing today. It is a very well done anthology I totally endorse. It is providing me with first contacts with a lot of writers, including today Nicola Barker.
"G String" centers on and is narrated by a woman living on the Canary Islands. She leads a secure but a bit of a dull life. She has a non-problematic boyfriend, who seems decent enough other than being a bit full of himself with his insistence he be called "Mister". The man invites her to a big party related to his work and he condescends to tell her to buy a decent new dress. You can feel the sort of isolated quality of the woman's life. We sense The Canary Islands are not a real "with the times" kind of place. When she goes to the dress shop her friend runs she talks her also into replacing her normal underpants with a G-String to be worn under the new dress. The story turns on this and I will leave it untold.
"G String" is a fun story that takes us in just a few pages deeply into the mind of the narrator and maybe we see her boyfriend get a wake up call.
I am glad to have had a first encounter with Nicola Barker. I will be reading more of her work.