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Standing on a railway platform in a Swiss resort town, sensibly clad in his Burberry raincoat and walking shoes, a man thinks he may be looking at the woman for whom he ruined his life many years earlier. Alan Sherwood, a quiet English solicitor, remembers back to a time when he stepped briefly out of character to indulge in a liaison with Sarah Miller, an intriguing but heartless distant relative--only to find himself in a series of absurd situations that culminated in his marriage to Sarah's clinging, childlike friend Angela.With her compassionate portrait of a man who has paid a terrible price for his folly, Anita Brookner gives us a novel that it at once harrowing and humane. In the traditions of Henry James and Thomas Mann, Altered States is a beautifully rendered tale of loneliness, guilt, and erotic obsession.
Booker Prize-winning author of "Hotel Du Lac" Anita Brookner creates a hauntingly beautiful story of a young woman's growing awareness of her own mortality and the limits of love. With lucid, unsentimental prose and witty insight, "The Bay of Angels" is a vibrant addition to the Brookner canon. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
With this novel, Booker Prize-winning author Anita Brookner confirms her reputation as an unparalleled observer of social nuance and deeply felt longings. Brief Lives chronicles an unlikely friendship: that between the flamboyant, monstrously egocentric Julia and the modest, self-effacing Fay, who is at once fascinated and appalled by Julia's excesses. Thrust together by their husbands' business partnership -- and by a guilty secret -- Julia and Fay develop an intense bond that is nonetheless something less than intimacy, a relationship in which we see our own uneasy compromises, not only with other people, but with life itself.
In A Closed Eye, Anita Brookner explores, with compassionate insight and stylistic brilliance, the self-inflicted paradoxes in the life of Harriet Lytton, a woman whose powers of submissiveness and self-denial are suddenly tested by the dizzying prospect of sexual awakening.In Harriers gallant struggle with the single great temptation that comes her way, Brookner creates a hauntingly flawed heroine and a study in the evasions and disappointments that make up all our lives.
Since childhood, Ruth has been escaping into books, from the hothouse demands of her parents and their maid. At 40 she admits that her life has been ruined by literature, and she must make a new start
In her superbly accomplished new novel, Anita Brookner proves that she is our mast profound observer of women's lives, posing questions about feminine identity and desire with a stylishness that conveys an almost sensual pleasure.From the moment Jane Manning first meets her aunt Dolly, she is both fascinated and appalled. Where Jane is tactful and shy, Dolly is flamboyant and unrepentantly selfish, a connoisseur of fine things, an exploiter of wealthy people. But as the exigencies of family bring Jane and Dolly together, Brookner shows us that we may end up loving people we cannot bring ourselves to like -- and that this paradox makes love all the more precious and miraculous.
The three books gathered together as Eustace and Hilda explore a brother and sister's lifelong relationship. Hilda, the older child, is both self-sacrificing and domineering, as puritanical as she is gorgeous; Eustace is a gentle, dreamy, pleasure-loving boy: the two siblings could hardly be more different, but they are also deeply devoted. And yet as Eustace and Hilda grow up and seek to go their separate ways in a world of power and position, money and love, their relationship is marked by increasing pain. L. P. Hartley's much-loved novel, the magnum opus of one of twentieth-century England's best writers, is a complex and spellbinding work: a comedy of upper-class manners; a study in the subtlest nuances of feeling; a poignant reckoning with the ironies of character and fate. Above all, it is about two people who cannot live together or apart, about the ties that bind--and break.
The brilliant Anita Brookner, praised by The New York Times as "one of the finest novelists of her generation," now gives us a stunning story of two sisters and the strange patterns of identity and love. The Sharpe sisters have lived a careful and contemplative existence. Miriam is a translator of French texts and Beatrice a moderately successful pianist. Their lives of quiet sophistication are suddenly interrupted by several complicated men: Max, Beatrice's agent; Simon, a handsome and charming married man; and Tom Rivers, a journalist who befriends Miriam. These men create disorder in the Sharpe sisters' controlled lives as Miriam, the unromantic stoic of the two, begins an affair and Beatrice's career undergoes an unexpected change. The exquisite writing, affecting characters, and astonishing psychological perceptions for which Anita Brookner is famous are evident on every page of this beautiful novel by a modern master.
In an ambitious departure from her usual form, Anita Brookner expands her canvas in FAMILY AND FRIENDS to create a richly textured novel about the life of a wealthy Jewish family in London, centering upon the generation that came to maturity between the two World Wars. "Brookner works a spell on the reader; being under it is both an education and a delight". --WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD.
At the heart of Anita Brookner's new novel lies a double mystery: What has happened to Anna Durrant, a solitary woman of a certain age who has disappeared from her London flat? And why has it taken four months for anyone to notice?As Brookner reconstructs Anna's life and character through the eyes of her acquaintances, she gives us a witty yet ultimately devastating study of self-annihilating virtue while exposing the social, fiscal, and moral frauds that are the underpinnings of terrifying rectitude.
In one of her most delicate and suspenseful novels to date, Anita Brookner brings us an exquisite story of friendship and duty. Rachel Kennedy and Oscar Livingston were not precisely friends or family. Rachel had been acquanted with Oscar for some time, first as her father's accountant, and then as her own. Part owner of a London bookshop, Rachel is thoroughly independent and somewhat distant, determinedly restrained in her feelings for others, but above all responsible. And it is this trait that leads Oscar and his wife Dorrie to seek out Rachel as a mentor for their twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Heather. Yet when Heather seems poised to make an unsuitable romantic decision, Rachel decides to speak out and intervene, causing an unwitting and devastating insight.
In the novel that won her the Booker Prize and established her international reputation, Anita Brookner finds a new vocabulary for framing the eternal question "Why love?" It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a pseudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to restore her to her senses.<P><P> But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure. Beautifully observed, witheringly funny, Hotel du Lac is Brookner at her most stylish and potently subversive.<P><P> Man Booker Prize winner
Maud Gonthier yearns for an escape from the cocoon of the bourgeois modesty. The splendid, caddish David Tyler appears to offer one. In this stylish, deeply knowing novel by the author of Hotel du Lac, Maud's seduction creates a chemistry of longing, sensuality, and betrayal--with a surprising climax. 240 pp.
A novel about the 50-year friendship of two dissimilar German refugees brought over to England as children from Nazi Germany. Their friendship becomes a funny yet touching model for the ways in which human beings come to terms with the tragedy of living.
When cautious Emma Roberts goes to France to carry out research into seventeenth century garden design, she finds a reliable diversion from her studies in her unlikely new friend Francoise Desnoyers, in whose beautiful house she is welcomed as a guest. She is not too dazzled to ignore the tensions that exist between Francoise and her formidable mother, or between Mme. Desnoyers and her other guests. London recedes into the background as life in France becomes more significant in every respect. It is not until the horrifying episode that puts an end to this fascination, that Emma is reconciled to her duller but safer life at home and to the compromises that she comes to accept.
Anita Brookner is justly famous for her elegant, almost Jamesian character studies of women poised on the threshold of life. But in Lewis Percy, she performs a remarkable leap of imaginative empathy in her portrayal of a man torn between the reassuring cloister of the library and the alluring but terrifying world of the senses, a world populated by women who persist in bewildering him.
Who has not been beguiled by charmed lives, by the ones who are beautiful and spoilt and not-to-be-trusted? Frances Hinton, shy and clever, is perhaps more seducible than most. By day she works in a medical library; every evening she goes back to solitude and the writing of fiction. So when she is adopted by Nick, and his equally dazzling wife Alix, Frances is ripe and ready to begin her sentimental education.
Facing life alone at an advanced age, Julius Herz cannot shake the sense that he should be elsewhere, doing other things. Walking through bustling streets that seem increasingly alien to him, he's confronted by life's pressing questions with an urgency he has never known before: what do we owe the people in our lives? How should we fill our days? Feeling fortified despite the growing ache in his heart, Herz finds himself also blessed with a stirring sense of exhilaration. After a lifetime of deferring to others' stronger wills, he faces a future of possibility, the only constraint the deeply ingrained habits of his mind. Profound and deeply resonant, Making Things Better explores the quandaries of aging, longing, and self-discovery with transfixing precision and spellbinding acuity.
After twenty years of marriage Blanche Vernon is alone; abandoned by her husband Bertie for a childishly demanding computer expert named Mousie. While Blanche finds this turn of events baffling, she feels that Bertie must have left her because of her overly sensible demeanor. Yet many of their mutual friends disagree. In fact, Blanche has come to be regarded as undeniably eccentric--making elliptical remarks that no one knows how to read, and chatting at great length about characters in fiction. She resolutely fills her unwanted hours with activities, maintaining her excellent appearance, drinking increasingly more wine, and, in an attempt to turn her energy to good works, becoming severely enmeshed in the life of a disordered young family.
Brookner explores the complications that arise when one solitary man comes up against a woman who seems determined to invade his solitude. George Bland is an aging bachelor whose existence has been virtually a mirror image of his name--up until now. For into George's life walks Katy Gibb, young, abrasively self-assured, who incites in George the most alarming feelings.
Kitty Maule longs to be "totally unreasonable, totally unfair, very demanding, and very beautiful." She is instead clever, reticent, self-possessed, and striking. For years. Kitty has been tactfully courting her colleague Maurice Bishop, a detached, elegant English professor. Now, running out of patience, Kitty's amorous pursuit takes her from rancorous academic committee rooms and lecture halls to French cathedrals and Parisian rooming houses, from sittings with her dress-making grandmother to seances with a grandmotherly psychic. Touching, funny, and stylistically breathtaking, Providence is a brightly polished gem of romantic comedy.
They shared the same Christian name and they started school together on the same day. One girl stayed as plain Elizabeth, while it was decreed that the other would be Betsy. Naturally, they became friends of a sort. Many years later they still meet - different lives and loves, different choices have marked them. Elizabeth is safely married to a man many years her senior, whilst Betsy has allied herself with someone she barely knows. Yet the consequences of those choices, spelled out so long ago, have still to haunt them.
Literary master Anita Brookner's elegant style is manifest on every page of her brilliant new novel. Beautifully crafted and emotionally evocative, Strangers portrays the magic and depth of real life, telling the rich story of an ordinary man whose unexpected longings, doubts, and fears are universal.Paul Sturgis is resigned to his bachelorhood and the quietude of his London flat. He occasionally pays obliging visits to his nearest living relative, Helena, his cousin's widow and a doyenne of decorum who, like Paul, bears a tacit loneliness.To avoid the impolite complications of turning down Helena's Christmas invitation, Paul sets off for a holiday in Venice, where he meets Mrs. Vicky Gardner. Younger than Paul by several decades, the intriguing and lovely woman is in the midst of a divorce and at a crossroads in her life. Upon his return to England, a former girlfriend, Sarah, reenters Paul's life. These two women reroute Paul's introspections and spark a transformation within him.Paul's steady and preferred isolation now conflicts with the stark realization of his aloneness and his need for companionship in even the smallest degree. This awareness brings with it a torrent of feelings-reassessing his Venetian journey, desiring change, and fearing death. Ultimately, his discoveries about himself will lead Paul to make a shocking decision about his life.From the Hardcover edition.
Enigmatic Claire is 30 and lives alone. When she meets Martin Gibson, a faded scholar, she becomes inordinately interested. She is even more interested when she meets his wife, a far more spectacular personality. But the unexpected news of this woman's death releases emotions that were not entirely foreseen.
When her late husband's sister asked her to take in a reticent young drifter who is to be best man at a granddaughter's wedding, 70-year-old recluse Dorothea May is forced to realize that old age will require a good deal more courage than she had anticipated.
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