Author(s): Laurence Sterne
Purporting to be an autobiography of the antihero Tristram Shandy, Lawrence Sterne's novel is a comic masterpiece of digression, egoism and sensationalism, as its hilarious asides, explanations and host of memorable secondary characters - such as Uncle Toby, Dr Slop, Parson Yorick and Widow Wadman - take centre stage, at the expense of the actual life events the book sets out to depict. A humorous compendium of European thought and literature - pastiching the likes of Locke and Bacon and referencing Pope, Swift, Cervantes and Rabelais - emerges amid the convoluted accounts of Tristram's conception, misnaming and accidental circumcision by a sash window, in a shrewd narrative that examines the role and nature of language itself.
Laurence Sterne (1713 - 68) was an Irish-born Anglican minister. He is most famous for his novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy.