Anita Brookner: Wikis

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Anita Brookner
Born 16 July 1928
Herne Hill, London, England
Occupation Novelist
Genres Drama

Anita Brookner CBE (born 16 July 1928) is an English novelist and art historian who was born in Herne Hill, a suburb of London.[1][2]

Contents

Background, education and career

Brookner's father, Newson Bruckner, was a Polish immigrant, and her mother, Maude Schiska, was a singer whose father had emigrated from Poland and founded a tobacco factory. Maude changed the family's surname to Brookner owing to anti-German sentiment in England. Anita Brookner had a lonely childhood, although her grandmother and uncle lived with the family, and her parents, secular Jews, opened their house to Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution during the 1930s and World War II. Brookner, an only child, has never married and took care of her parents as they aged.

Brookner was educated at James Allen's Girls' School. She received a BA in History from King's College London in 1949, and a doctorate in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1953. In 1967 she became the first woman to hold the Slade professorship at Cambridge University. She was promoted to Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1977, where she worked until her retirement in 1988. Brookner was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1990. She is a Fellow of King's College London and of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Works

Brookner published her first novel, A Start In Life, in 1981 at the age of 53. Since then she has published approximately a novel every year. Her fourth book, Hotel du Lac, published in 1984, won the Booker Prize.

Brookner is highly regarded as a stylist. Her fiction, which has been heavily influenced by her own life experiences, explores themes of isolation, emotional loss and difficulties associated with fitting into English society. Her novels typically depict intellectual, middle-class women, who suffer isolation, emotional loss and disappointments in love. Many of Brookner's characters are the children of European immigrants who experience difficulties with fitting into English life; a number of characters appear to be of Jewish descent.[1][3]

Bibliography

  • A Start in Life (1981), published in the United States as The Debut
  • Providence (1982)
  • Look at Me (1983)
  • Hotel du Lac (1984) (Won the Booker Prize)
  • Family and Friends (1985)
  • A Misalliance (1986)
  • A Friend from England (1987)
  • Latecomers (1988)
  • Lewis Percy (1989)
  • Brief Lives (1990)
  • A Closed Eye (1991)
  • Fraud (1992)
  • A Family Romance (1993), published in the United States as Dolly
  • A Private View (1994)
  • Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995)
  • Altered States (1996)
  • Visitors (1997)
  • Falling Slowly (1998)
  • Undue Influence (1999)
  • The Bay of Angels (2001)
  • The Next Big Thing (2002), long Listed for the Booker Prize
  • Making Things Better (2002)
  • The Rules of Engagement (2003)
  • Leaving Home (2005)
  • Strangers (2009)

References

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Anita Brookner (born 1928-07-16) is an English novelist and art historian. She was educated at James Allen's Girls' School. She received a BA in History from King's College London in 1949 and a doctorate in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1953. In 1967 she became the first woman to hold the Slade professorship at Cambridge University. She was promoted to Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1977, where she worked until her retirement in 1988. Brookner was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1990. She is a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge. Brookner published her first novel, A Start In Life, in 1981 at the age of 53. Since then she has published approximately a novel every year. Her fourth book, Hotel du Lac, published in 1984, won the Booker Prize.

Contents

Sourced

Look At Me (1983)

  • I saw the business of writing for what it truly was and is to me. It is your penance for not being lucky. It is an attempt to reach others and to make them love you. It is your instinctive protest, when you find you have no voice at the world's tribunals, and that no one will speak for you. I would give my entire output of words, past, present, and to come, in exchange for easier access to the world, for permission to state "I hurt" or "I hate" or "I want." Or, indeed, "Look at me." And I do not go back on this. For once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And writing is the enemy of forgetfulness, of thoughtlessness. For the writer there is no oblivion. Only endless memory.

A Friend From England (1987)

  • "It was, I saw, a flat to get out of rather than one to stay in. It was a machine for eating and sleeping in, a suitable dwelling place for a working woman, whose main interest is in her work. I disliked this version of myself, which seemed to negate my other activities, reduced them to after-hours amusements, whereas I had always thought them pretty central. These mute, white walls had been silent witnesses to many encounters; nevertheless, they withheld comment, and their very withholding struck me as unfriendly. Unheimlich was the word which came to mind when I stood on the threshold of my bedroom."
  • "Women have come a long way, of course: we can all be left alone at night now. But sometimes it seems a high price to pay. We can also open the door cheerfully to strangers at any hour, deal with obscene telephone calls and mend fuses."
  • "The house - a substantial but essentially modest suburban villa - was furnished with voluptuous grandeur in approximations of various styles, predominantly those of several Louis, with late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century additions. Heavy coloured glass ashtrays of monstrous size and weight rested in inlaid marquetry tables of vaguely Pompadour associations. At dinner we drank champagne from ruby Bohemian glasses: the meat was carved at a Boulle-type sideboard. ‘Regency’ wallpaper of dark green and lighter green stripes was partially covered by gilt-framed landscapes of no style whatsoever.’"

A Closed Eye (1991)

  • And yet she had never felt so bereft, as if her presence in other lives were entirely illusory, as if she herself were a kind of facsimile, pleasant but inauthentic. Before she got too old she must wrest some part of her life for herself, or she would fade, vanish, before anyone noticed her disappearance

External links

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