A wise, heartfelt and powerful new novel from Julian Barnes - a book that is a balm for our times with an extraordinary woman at its heart
We'd like to introduce you to Elizabeth Finch.
We invite you to take her course in Culture and Civilisation.
She will change the way you see the world.
'The task of the present is to correct our understanding of the past. And that task becomes the more urgent when the past cannot be corrected.'
Elizabeth Finch was a teacher, a thinker, an inspiration - always rigorous, always thoughtful. With measured empathy, she guided her students to develop meaningful ideas and to discover their centres of seriousness.
As Neil, a former student, unpacks Elizabeth's notebooks, and remembers her uniquely inquisitive mind, her passion for reason resonates through the years. Her ideas unlock the philosophies of the past, and explore key events that show us how to make sense of our lives today. And underpinning them all is the story of J - Julian the Apostate, her historical soulmate and fellow challenger to the institutional and monotheistic thinking that has always threatened to divide us.
This is more than a novel. It's a loving tribute to philosophy, a careful evaluation of history, an invitation to think for ourselves. It's a moment to reflect and to gently explore our own theories and assumptions. It is truly a balm for our times.