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Anita Brookner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

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

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

At the Hairdresser's (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Jacques-Louis David (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Soundings (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Romanticism and Its Discontents (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Granta 13: After the Revolution(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Anita Brookner, a British based author of elegiac and stylistic novels was at one point labeled the mistress of gloom. This name was forged due to her depiction of exceedingly bleak and disenchanted lives mostly of women. A daughter of an exceptionally polished immigrant, Ms. Anita Brookner was born and raised in London where she was surrounded by both acquaintances and relatives whom she mostly referred to as fragile and transparent people. Anita lived a very lonely life, despite the fact that their family opened up their homes for the Jewish refugees who were fleeing from the Nazi regime in Germany. The sense of a rather unfulfilled world carried over into her writing career, which she had started while in her 50’s.

During her 50’s, she was already a well accomplished art historian. Her work soon begun to find acclaim, and her fourth novel, Hotel du Lac which was published in the year 1984, won her the most prestigious award in England, the Booker Prize. This triumph was seen as a surprise by a majority of literary figures because a novel such as the Empire of the Sun, by J.G Ballard was expected to grab the award unopposed. After winning the award, Anita went ahead to fulfill her promise by writing a book each year for the remainder of the 20th century. Apart from the Booker prize Anita was also shortlisted for James Tait Memorial Prize in the year 2010.

Ms. Anita Broockner’s first book, A Start in Life, was published in the year 1981 when she was aged 53. A Start in Life is a story about one Ruth Weiss who is a young academic seeking contentment in Paris before she eventually returns to London. This story was a mirror, in Ms. Brockner’s life. Apart from A Start in Life, another of her works, The Debut, was published in US and took its title from Un Debut Dans la Vie a Balzac novel from the 19th Century. Before she began writing, Anita had already become a leading art historian who had specialized in French artists such as the critically acclaimed Jean Baptiste Greuze and many others.

At her college, the Courtland Institute of Art, Ms. Anita’s proffesors included one Antony Blunt, a well acknowledged art historian who was later discovered to be a Russian spy. During the 1960’s Ms. Anita became the first ever woman to hold, the Slade chair. Ms. Anita Brookner published works on Greuze, Jean Antoine Watteau and Jacques Louis David. But among a greater number of audiences it was Anita’s fiction work that garnered a lot of attention. Alluding to her very first novel, Ms. Anita told the Paris Review that she had already began to write in a moment of desperation and sadness.

She said that her life appeared to drifting in unpredictable channels and she wanted to how, she was worthy of such a fate. She wanted to not only write about it but also be able to impose a little bit of structure on her experiences. Writing about her experiences gave her a sense of control. It was not only an exercise but also self-analysis.

In Hotel de Lac, one of the characters Edith Hope, who was spending time at a classic swiss hotel, is pursued by a gallant suitor after a romantic debacle. While discussing the book, Ms Brockner had given a rare insight on the interplay between the creation and the creator. On two occasions, the fictional character opts to stay in a rather hopeless relationship with a man who is married. On numerous occasions, Anita was quoted saying that she wrote because she had no children.

On the 16th July 1928 Anita was born in the southeastern part of London to a polish family who had changed their name to Brookner from Bruckner. Anita’s mother was a singer while her father was a businessman. Her family was tended to by gardners and housemaids. Her father did not know English very well, though he loved the Dickens. Her father always thought that the Dickens was among the few books that really gave a true picture of London and England in general.

Despite being born and raised in England, Anita never truly felt at home. Ms. Anita Brookner was educated at school for girls in the city of London. Later on, she joined Kings College where she pursued art history and French. Mr. Blunt was the one who persuaded Ms. Anita to join Art History. After completing her studies, she became a lecturer at the University of Reading, then later on at Courtland Institute. In the year 1988, she retired as a lecturer.

After retiring she was made a commander of the British Empire in the year 1990. Anita’s final fiction novel was At the Hairdressers which was a novella that was published in the year 2011 as an e-book. This novel tells a story about an 80 year old woman who decides to leave her apartment in London to get her hair done and to do some shopping. Despite the fact that most of her fictions revolved around women, Ms. Anita did not portray herself as a feminist.

Other books include Leaving home which was published in the year 2005 and strangers which was published in the year 2009. The Strangers, Leaving home and At the Hairdressers were her very last novels which were consummately crafted. Occasionally, critics would complain about the improbabilities. Anita’s male characters were all charming and cold hearted cynics while the women were all gloomy with their emotions flowing deeper with lack of self-control.

While there are some critics who termed her work as being repetitive and narrow, Ms. Anita is a type of artist who is described as a minor by readers who happen to read her works only once. The quality of each work, together with the integrity of the project is indeed well established. Each of her work is like a prayer on a bead string, and each of the prayer is a circumspect and secular prayer, a protest, charm and prayer against a rather encroaching night.

With that said, Anita Brookner, an art historian and novelist was born on the 16th of July 1928 and died on the 10th of March 2016.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Anita Brookner

2 Responses to “Anita Brookner”

  1. kay richards: 2 years ago

    Having been a life long obsessive reader, I just recently discovered Anita Brookner. Her words jump off the page and speak to me. She has the innate ability to capture the hidden emotions and heart of the “unimportant” invisible woman.

  2. Laura Herman: 3 years ago

    Anita brookners writing explored the depths of the human psyche, exposing the complexities of our struggle to attain knowledge of ourselves.
    In doing so she revealed her capacity for incisive and ruthless observation. That this was often levied with humour and compassion for the less insightful of her characters, made her more than worthy of the
    comparison made by a reviewer as a “contemporary Jane Austin” Writing that one returns to time and time again.


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