When I kept seeing the author Anita Brookner on lists of recommended books, I decided it was time I read her. The winner of the Booker Prize for Hotel du Lac, Brookner has been dubbed a modern day Jane Austen. Real Simple magazine recently suggested her her Brief Lives on its list of summer reads, and Rumaan Alam in her article for the New York Times – In Praise of Anita Brookner – offered a starter kit for her books:
The Debut The novelist’s first work opens with a brilliant line — “Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.” — and establishes the themes that Brookner would revisit over the years.
Hotel du Lac Her best-known work (which received the Booker Prize in something of an upset) is about a romance novelist on holiday in Switzerland.
Look At Me My favorite of Brookner’s books is about a librarian whom no one seems to see, and contains what must be literature’s most depressing office holiday party.
Dolly This story of a young woman and her elderly, quite monstrous aunt surprises by showing how family bonds can endure over the years.
Fraud A woman of a certain age goes missing. This beautiful book isn’t a thriller but a fantasy for anyone who’s dreamed of leaving an unfulfilling reality behind.
So, here I go, immersing myself in a writer. Have you read any of Brookner’s books?
I have read Hotel Du Lac, and wrote a review on it. I’ve also read Brief Lives, plus I think one more but it was quite a while ago. I enjoy her writing, but she is not an author I can binge read – her prose is thought-provoking, quiet yet powerful. I savour her writing, rather than devour.
I am finding I agree with you as I make my way through Brief Lives.