Pat Barker’s First World War Regeneration Trilogy had already built up a head of critical steam, so there was a sense of rightness when the final volume, The Ghost Road, triumphed.

Barker’s win was acclaimed as an example of right winner, right book – not always the case. She saw off two former winners – Salman Rushdie (The Moor’s Last Sigh) and Barry Unsworth (Morality Play) – on her way to a victory that she saw as a means of promoting fiction generally rather than just her own work.

Her themes – the pity of war, sympathy for the shell-shocked and homosexuality, ambivalence to empire – were adroitly handled and hit a receptive moment in time.  

By
Pat Barker
Published by
Viking
The third volume of Pat Barker’s trilogy, which follows the fortunes of shell-shocked British army officers towards the end of the First World War.

The Shortlist

Morality Play
The Riders
The Ghost Road
Prize winner