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Brookner, Anita

romantic novelist novel friends

(British, 1928– )

Anita Brookner was born and educated in London, and apart from being a highly successful and prolific novelist is also an art historian of some repute. Perhaps her best-known novel is Hôtel du Lac (1984), which won the Booker Prize. It is concerned with the plight of Edith Hope, a romantic novelist, who has been sent to a Swiss hotel by her friends, as a reprimand for declining a worthy but dull suitor. The novel is a study in romantic aspiration, and is not without humour. Brookner's territory is that of the solitary female who is cultured, middle class, and unlucky in love. Most of her novels explore this ground—try Brief Lives (1990) and Altered States (1996). She also writes about German-Jewish emigrant families, as in Family and Friends (1985).

Barbara Pym, Mavis Cheek, A. L. Barker  SA

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