A.L. Barker dissected the unnerving emotions and startling events of everyday life with the sly humour and exquisite feel for language that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that she â€˜writes like an angel and I love her.’A.L. Barker had a long, distinguished career as a novelist and writer of short stories. Her first collection, INNOCENTS, won the first Somerset Maughan prize in 1947 and her novel, JOHN BROWN’S BODY, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1960. Other novels include THE GOOSEBOY (winner of the Macmillan Silver Pen Award 1988), THE MIDDLING, THE WOMAN WHO TALKED TO HERSELF and her final novel, THE HAUNT. She preferred the form of the short story to the novel, and her collections of short stories include LOST UPON THE ROUNDABOUTS, ANY EXCUSE FOR A PARTY and the semi autobiographical LIFE STORIES. She worked for the BBC until her retirement to her long-time home in Carshalton, Surrey. AL Barker died in February 2002.All of AL Barker’s novels and short story collections have been republished recently by Faber Finds.