Talk:Pat Barker

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Article[edit]

Do to the ubiquity of her work (at least in the UK) this article could be larger. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.5.81.123 (talk) 13:08, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. But sadly Wikipedia does not expand itself! Francium12 (talk) 10:56, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I just added some additional information to this article; mostly early biography stuff. I'll probably edit it more later. It really does need beefing up: she's a major, critically-acclaimed, award-winning novelist, and deserves better than this thin article. Sue Gardner (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:52, 23 May 2010 (UTC).

Some thoughts[edit]

Occupation novelist
Language English
Nationality England
Alma mater London School of Economics
Subject memory, trauma, survival, recovery
Notable awards Man Booker Prize, Guardian First Book Award
Children Anna Ralph

Sue, this is a great article expansion - well written, well structured, well cited. I've been tinkering around the edges: fully formatting the citations (tedious but oh-so-important for offline use, or when web sites get taken down or restructured); fixing up ambiguous wikilinks; and a few other details. I've also started an infobox (to the right) which you may or may not want to include in the article; if so, just copy and paste.

I have a few thoughts about the article. In general, I think the lead section (currently only 3 sentences) could really use some fleshing out. If you're still working on gathering info and citations, it may be best to hold off; it's usually easiest to write a strong lead after the rest of the article is pretty complete. Ideally, the lead section will be essentially a fairly complete, informative short article, and should clearly contextualize the article's subject. I think the current lead sentence is a bit suspect; while I agree (or rather take your word for) Barker's general importance, I think we need to be careful about how we state it, and how we cite it. First, about the citation: blogs like [1] this one, which does not appear to have any rigorous editorial structure or reflect any special expertise, are often considered unacceptable as reliable sources. I personally believe very firmly -- and believe that the RS guideline supports -- the idea that blogs like this are generally OK for sourcing fairly uncontroversial facts; but for a highly subjective (not to mention sought-after) claim like "most important," I think much stronger sourcing is required.

This same issue can also be addressed, to some degree, in the phrasing. I favor phrasing like "Pat Barker is an influential[CITE] contemporary novelist from England. Often considered one of the most important historical novelists of the early 21st century,[CITE] she writes about…" That's obviously a very rough cut, but you might want to play with it.

Also, a detail, and one that I see is a vestige from before you started working on the article: I would change the way her biography is introduced. Stating with authority that Shannon Monteith is her biography seems unusual. Many people could write biographies of her; it seems like a strong way to put it. Especially without a third-party citation to back it up. My inclination would be to take it out of the article text, and put a full citation to Monteith's book in the "Further reading" section.

Hope this helps -- I'll keep chipping away at the details! -Pete (talk) 16:03, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Further reading section[edit]

I moved the Monteith biography (as described above, and as discussed with Sue offline) to the "further reading" section. I also added another book there that looks relevant; and I removed this news article, which I'm assuming is not especially useful, since it has not been used in any inline citations. If I'm wrong, feel free to add it back in, of course:

-Pete (talk) 17:26, 3 September 2011 (UTC)