Anita Brookner - Author

About the Author

Anita Brookner was born in London in 1928, spent some postgraduate years in Paris and taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art until 1988. Of her novels Penguin publish: Lewis Percy, A Start in Life, Brief Lives, Hotel du Lac, A Closed Eye, Providence, Family and Friends, Look At Me, Fraud, A Family Romance, A Private View, Incidents in the Rue Laugier, Altered States, Visitors, Falling Slowly and Undue Influence. She died in March 2016.

Featured books by Anita Brookner

Other books by Anita Brookner

A Start in Life

A Start in Life

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

Anita Brookner's first novel, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.' Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely. Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment. Yet in revisiting her London upbringing, her friendships and doomed Parisian love affairs, she wonders if perhaps there might not be a chance for a new start in life . . .

Brief Lives

Brief Lives

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'I never liked her, nor did she like me; strange, then, how we managed to keep up a sort of friendship for so long.' Fay Langdon has relinquished her singing career to marry Owen, a highly successful solicitor. At one of their dinner parties Fay meets the glamorous, self-obsessed Julia and is destined to join the handful of acolytes who provide Julia with ammunition for her merciless scorn and disapprobation. As the years pass and Fay and Julia's lives grow empty of purpose, they are drawn together by their fear of age and isolation. Yet a mutual mistrust continues to exist between them until Fay is driven to one last heroic act.

Incidents in the Rue Laugier

Incidents in the Rue Laugier

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'I have reached the age when a woman begins to perceive that she is growing into the person whom she least plans to resemble: her mother.' Nadine has always wanted her daughter Maud to be married and off her hands. When the two women are staying at Nadine's sister's house near Meaux, they become part of a sophisticated, wordly group into which neither Maud nor Edward Harrison, a young visitor from England, seem to fit. Maud is swept off her feet by David Tyler, a stylish, irresponsible young man who robs her of her innocence and disappears. Edward, forced into adulthood by his inheritance of a bookshop, and thus a career, takes Maud into his care. But for both of them the shadow of Tyler is always there, illuminating their feelings of inadequacy, disappointment and loss.

A Closed Eye

A Closed Eye

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'Without warning, it seemed, she had become a married woman.' Naive and undemanding, Harriet Lytton expects very little of life and that is what she recieves. Married to a respectable man old enough to be her father, Harriet's only taste of passion comes when she meets Jack Peckham, the unruly, attractive husband of her friend Tessa. Tessa and Harriet have for many years been bound together by their childhood friendship and the imposed alliance of their two daughters, Imogen and Lizzie. But events conspire to shatter the gentle rhythm of Harriet's life. Tragically restrained by her own cautious choices, she faces the cruellest losses of all: those of hope and desire.

Fraud

Fraud

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'Oh, she'll turn up all right. Somewhere or other. Trouble is, we won't know where to look.' Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Anna Durrant's acquaintances realize that Anna has gone missing. Normally so reliable, so helpful, she has neglected what duties remain to her after the death of her mother and taken flight. Lawrence Halliday, the family doctor, trapped in a trying marriage to the predatory Vickie, is the first to notice Anna's disappearance. Mrs Marsh, a critical friend of Anna's mother, had hoped that her arrogant son Nick might take an interest in Anna, but he is seeking greater sophistication and worldliness. And as for Anna herself, she has not so much disappeared as ceased to exist as the woman they all thought they knew.

Altered States

Altered States

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'I was foolish enough to think that I was strong enough, and cheerful enough by nature, to avoid unhappiness. I was not yet old enough to see that I was in error.' Alan Sherwood is a cautious, solitary London solicitor who finds himself obsessed by his glamorous cousin Sarah. But Sarah is self-seeking and predatory and their short-lived affair leaves Alan desolate. He finds distraction in Angela, a homely, needy acquaintance of Sarah and they drift into marriage. Alan, however, is haunted by his memories of Sarah, and, attempting to recapture the wordless passion of their time together, he arranges a final meeting. It is an act of betrayal that changes his life for ever.

A Family Romance

A Family Romance

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'Literature for me was a magnificent destiny for which I was not yet fully prepared.' Paul and Henrietta Manning and their solitary, academic daughter Jane have nothing in common with Dolly, widow of Henrietta's brother. Corseted and painted, Dolly is a frivolous, superficial woman, who has little time for those without that inestimable quality - charm. Jane, in particular, falls into this category, especially after the death of her parents. But Jane has money - and a conscience - and these bind her to Dolly. Through disagreements, disappointments and disapprovals, Jane and Dolly are enmeshed in an uneasy alliance in which history and family create closer ties than friendship ever could.

A Private View

A Private View

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/2016

'Seated at a cafe table, in the syrupy warmth of out-of-season Nice, he reviewed his life and found it to be alarmingly empty.' George Bland had planned to spend his retirement in leisurely travel and modest entertainment with his friend Putnam. When Putnam dies George is left attempting to impose some purpose on the solitary end of his life. Then Katy Gibb appears as a temporary resident, perhaps even squatter, in a neighbouring apartment. Greedy, selfish, sometimes alluring, often manipulative, Katy exerts a strange influence on George, forcing him to recognize that his own careful, fastidious life has shown a distinct lack of passion and daring. As the realization takes hold, George must decide how much - or how little - he can do to transform the status quo.

Lewis Percy

Lewis Percy

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'The future is not always a whole new ball game. There tends to be unfinished business. One trails all sorts of things around with one, things that simply won't be got rid of.' Destined to be a haunter of libraries, Lewis's cautious progress through life reveals to him only his own shortcomings. Estranged from his wife and daughter, he searches for an alternative. This novel presents the life and aspirations of one man who remains out of step with his times.

Providence

Providence

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

Kitty Maule wants to be 'totally unreasonable, totally unfair, very demanding, and very beautiful.' Instead, she is clever, hesitant and too patient for her own good. For years, she has been in love with her colleague Maurice Bishop, a charming English lecturer who seems not to notice her feelings. But when there comes a chance to accompany Maurice to France on a study of French cathedrals, Kitty sees an opporunity to be the woman she has always wanted to be as well as at last make the man she wants fall in love with her. But why is that the closer she gets to Maurice, the more elusive he seems to become?

Look At Me

Look At Me

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'Once a thing is known it can never be unknown.' By day Frances Hinton works in a medical library, by night she haunts the room of a West London mansion flat. Everything changes, however, when she is adopted by charming Nick and his dazzling wife Alix. They draw her into their tight circle of friends. Suddenly, Frances' life is full and ripe with new engagements. But too late, Frances realises that she may be only a play thing, to be picked up and discarded once used. And that just one act in defiance of Alix's wishes could see her lose everything . . .

Family And Friends

Family And Friends

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'Sofka gazes ahead, with her family's future before her . . .' Sofka Dorn, widowed matriarch of a prosperous German Jewish family living in England, rules her four children with an exacting hand. Frederick, the eldest son, is a disgracefully charming 'ladies' man, and like his flirtatious sister, Betty, is adored and indulged by his mother. Alfred and Mimi, both steady and solitary, are a disappointment to Sofka, who values strength and boldness of spirit. But, as their story unfolds, it becomes clear that the lives each must live and the times each must endure will change them in ways even Sofka could never have imagined.

Falling Slowly

Falling Slowly

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'She hoped one day to find the image she unconsciously sought, without knowing why she sought it, something to lift the spirits, to transport her on an imaginary journey, to give a hint of the transcendence which was so blatantly lacking in her everyday life of words and paper' Sisters Beatrice and Miriam have each other, but they were never close. Beatrice is a pianist, a romantic, while Miriam is disillusioned after a failed marriage. Living together yet failing to confide in one another, each is haunted by the mistakes they have made and the opportunities squandered. Both know that one day they will be forced to part, that they will each fall alone. So when Beatrice contemplates a future with Max, Miriam wonders whether the time has come sooner than she believed . . .

The Bay Of Angels

The Bay Of Angels

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'It was at Millie's party, on that Friday evening, that she met her second husband, my stepfather-to-be, and thus changed both our lives . . .' Zoe is delighted when her widowed mother marries Simon, a generous older man who owns a villa in Nice. However, the long enchanted visits to France she enjoys come to an abrupt end when Simon suffers a bad fall. Zoe and her mother, finding themselves surrounded by well-meaning strangers, must learn how and how not to trust appearances . . . 'One of her very best - possibly her finest . . . reverberates long after it's put down ... Brookner in all her wisdom, eloquence and power' Spectator

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'This would soon be a new day, all too closely resembling the others, the normal days of his present existence, in which nothing happened nor could be expected to happen' At seventy-three Herz is facing an increasingly bewildering world. He cannot see his place in it or even work out what to do with his final years. Questions and misunderstandings haunt Herz like old ghosts. Should he travel, sell his flat, or propose marriage to an old friend he has not seen in thirty years? Herz believes that he must do something, only he doesn't know what this next big thing in life should be . . . 'Beautifully written, it draws you in and holds you fast' Daily Mail

Undue Influence

Undue Influence

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'People are mysterious. And they do reveal mysterious connections. But sometimes one is merely anxious to alter the script. It was not the first time I had been guilty of a misapprehension' At twenty-nine, Claire Pitt is single but not inexperienced. Attracted to Martin Gibson, a former academic married to a beautiful, manipulative invalid, she and her friend Wiggy are drawn deeper into his world. When Martin is widowed, Claire sees a possible future for herself and begins to make plans. But Martin is both more and less than he appears, as Claire is about to discover . . . 'All of Brookner's novels are great. But this is one of the best' Independent on Sunday

A Start in Life

A Start in Life

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.' Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely. Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment. Yet in revisiting her London upbringing, her friendships and doomed Parisian love affairs, she wonders if perhaps there might not be a chance for a new start in life . . .

At the Hairdresser's

At the Hairdresser's

Author: Anita Brookner Format: eBook Release Date: 01/12/2011

Penguin Specials are designed to fill a gap. Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is a poignant novella from Anita Brookner.'I rather hope I shall die at the hairdresser's, for they are bound to know what to do. At least that is what I tell myself.'Solitude is a familiar burden for Elizabeth Warner. She lives in a basement flat near Victoria and leaves the house only to go shopping and to have her hair done - until a chance encounter at the hairdresser's brings unexpected change. At the Hairdresser's is a deeply moving, unflinchingly observed story about trust and betrayal by one of the greatest writers of contemporary fiction.

Latecomers

Latecomers

Author: Anita Brookner, Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2010

'No man is free of his own history' Hartmann and Fibich came to England on the kindertransport. As orphans of the war they were strangers in a strange land. Together, they survived. And in adulthood they have been unable to separate, sharing a successful business. Yet Hartmann's carefully polished manners conceal the past he refuses to think about. While Fibich, a mass of fears and neuroses, can do nothing but remember. Together these two men seek to build a future from the shaky foundations of their own pasts . . . 'Like Virginia Woolf, Brookner's aim is not to draw characters in the round, but to reveal psychological reality in the deep' The Times

The Rules of Engagement

The Rules of Engagement

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2004

The Rules of Engagement is the twenty second novel by Anita Brookner, the Booker Prize winning author of Hotel du Lac. Elizabeth and Betsy are old school friends. Born in 1948 and unready for the sixties, they had high hopes of the lives they would lead, even though their circumstances were so different. When they meet again in their thirties, Elizabeth, married to the safe, older Digby is relieving the boredom of a cosy but childless marriage with an affair. Betsy seems to have found real romance in Paris. Are their lives taking off, or are they just making more of the wrong choices without even realising it? 'One of the most observant moralists writing today. A dark, wintry work and there is plenty here to satisfy Brookner's fans' Guardian 'Her technique as a novelist is so sure and so quietly commanding' Hilary Mantel, Guardian 'She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction' Literary Review Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

Visitors

Visitors

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/1998

Dorothea May's tranquility is shattered by Kitty Levinson's announcement of her granddaughter's forthcoming marriage. As the wedding approaches, the scene is set for a highly charged conflict of generations, in which the claims of the young are in stark and selfish contrast to the disabling propriety of the old. VISITORS is a vivid exploration of familial responsibilities and the expectations that perpetually threaten to overwhelm them.

Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac

Author: Anita Brookner Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/1994

Winner of the Booker Prize 'The Hotel du Lac was a dignified building, a house of repute, a traditional establishment, used to welcoming the prudent, the well-to-do, the retired, the self-effacing, the respected patrons of an earlier era' Into the rarefied atmosphere of the Hotel du Lac timidly walks Edith Hope, romantic novelist and holder of modest dreams. Edith has been exiled from home after embarrassing herself and her friends. She has refused to sacrifice her ideals and remains stubbornly single. But among the pampered women and minor nobility Edith finds Mr Neville, and her chance to escape from a life of humiliating loneliness is renewed . . . 'A classic . . . a book which will be read with pleasure a hundred years from now' Spectator

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