Not a conventional memoir-What did you expect from the multi-award-winning author of The Sense of an Ending?-this book aims to "put together two things that have not been put together before, and the world is changed." Barnes talks about ballooning and Sarah Bernhardt, then reflects on his own life to convey an experience of heartrending loss.

Fifteen months after the publication of his phenomenally successful novel The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes now gives us his most powerfully moving book yet, beginning in the nineteenth century and leading seamlessly into an entirely personal account of loss--making Levels of Life an immediate classic on the subject of grief.

"You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed..." Julian Barnes's new book is about ballooning, photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize described him as "an unparalleled magus of the heart." This book confirms that opinion.