Before She Met Me  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

At the start of this fiendishly comic and suspenseful novel, a mild-mannered English academic chuckles as he watches his wife commit adultery. The action takes place before she met him. But lines between film and reality, past and present become terrifyingly blurred in this sad and funny tour de force from the author of Flaubert's Parrot. --from the publisher

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Before She Met Me is a novel by English writer Julian Barnes, first published in 1982 by Jonathan Cape. It is a black comedy which scrutinizes the awakening of sexual jealousy in a dull and otherwise sensible college lecturer.


After fifteen years of marriage to a nagging woman who despises everything about him Graham Hendrick files for divorce and marries Ann, a beautiful former actress and seemingly the woman of his dreams. Initially he believes this to be the start of the good life and congratulates himself daily, hourly but as he learns more about Ann’s past he starts to obsess over the time before he knew her, resenting her previous love affairs, apparently unable to accept that she enjoyed a life at all before they met. As Graham imagines non-existent humiliations and concocts plans for revenge upon previous lovers his increasingly strange behaviour begins to alarm first his wife and then his friend Jack, whom he soon suspects of cuckolding him.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Before She Met Me" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools