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The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes
The Lemon Table is a collection of short stories by Julian Barnes, all centered around the topic of old age. The stories deal with lives defined by who or what is no longer within them, memories of youth that are either remembered incorrectly or beholden for what might have been, and the slow disappearance of the elderly in the eyes of a youthful world. Although Barnes's characters still have the ability to live, love, lie, and cheat, the end of their lives are often bittersweet by the realization of what they don't possess. The Lemon Table has received positive reviews with the Telegraph saying, "In The Lemon Table Julian Barnes presents us with a range of tales about the bitterness of old age, admirably unsweetened by saccharine sentimentality. A depressing theme, you might think; but these stories, though bleak, are exhilaratingly crisp, crystallised by Barnes's wintry intelligence."