• In Undue Influence, acclaimed novelist Anita Brookner proves once again that even in the most closely circumscribed of lives, hearts can venture into unknownand potentially explosiveterritory.Claire Pitt is nothing if not a practical young woman, living a life in contemporary London that is to all appearances placid, orderly and consciously lacking in surprise. And yet Claire's tangled interior life gives the lie to that illusion. She is prone to vivid speculation about the lives of others, and to fantasies about her own fate that lead her into a courtship so strange that even she wonders at its power to compel her. Martin Gibson and his chronically ill wife Cynthia come to depend on Claire to an extent that is nothing short of baffling, and yet Claire becomes ever bolder in her pursuit of their acquaintanceand, ultimately, of Martin's elusive affections. The result, a potent tale of urban loneliness and the chance intersections that assuage it, constitutes one of Brookner's finest and most psychologically acute achievements.From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Hotel du Lac is the classic Booker Prize winning novel by Anita Brookner.

    Into the rarefied atmosphere of the Hotel du Lac timidly walks Edith Hope, romantic novelist and holder of modest dreams. Edith has been exiled from home after embarrassing herself and her friends. She has refused to sacrifice her ideals and remains stubbornly single. But among the pampered women and minor nobility Edith finds Mr Neville, and her chance to escape from a life of humiliating spinsterhood is renewed . . .

    'A classic . . . a book which will be read with pleasure a hundred years from now'Spectator 'A smashing love story. It is very romantic. It is also humorous, witty, touching and formidably clever' The Times 'Hotel du Lac is written with a beautiful grave formality, and it catches at the heart' Observer 'Her technique as a novelist is so sure and so quietly commanding' Hilary Mantel, Guardian 'She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction' Literary Review Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

  • The extraordinary Anita Brookner gives us a brilliant novel about age and awakening. In Visitors, Brookner explores what happens when a woman's quiet resignation to fate is challenged by the arrogance of youth.
    Dorothea May is most at ease in the company of strangers -- so when she is prevailed upon to take in a young man in town for a family wedding, her carefully constructed, solitary world is thrown into disarray. As the wedding approaches, old family secrets surface and conflicts erupt between the generations. Dorothea's fragile façade of peaceful acceptance is pierced, forcing her to face in a new way both her past and her future.
    Exquisite writing, richly drawn characters, and penetrating perceptions about people are featured in another superb novel from this acclaimed and award-winning writer.

  • At twenty-six, Emma Roberts comes to the painful realization that if she is ever to become truly independent, she must leave her comfortable London flat and venture into the wider world. This entails not only breaking free from a claustrophobic relationship with her mother, but also shedding her inherited tendency toward melancholy. Once settled in a small Paris hotel, Emma befriends Fran?oise Desnoyers, a vibrant young woman who offers Emma a glimpse into a turbulent life so different from her own. In this exquisite new novel of self-discovery, Booker Prize-winner Anita Brookner addresses one of the great dramas of our lives: growing up and leaving home.From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • 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.

  • Elizabeth and Betsy had been school friends in 1950s London. Elizabeth, prudent and introspective, values social propriety. Betsy, raised by a spinster aunt, is open, trusting, and desperate for affection. After growing up and going their separate ways, the two women reconnect later in life. Elizabeth has married kind but tedious Digby, while Betsy is still searching for love and belonging. In this deeply perceptive story, Anita Brookner brilliantly charts the resilience of a friendship tested by alienation and by jealousy over a man who seems to offer the promise of escape.From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.


    The latecomers are Hartmann and Fibich, brought over to England as children to escape Nazi Germany, now living close to each other in London in their 60s, and still friends. Yet they could not be more different, each having adopted different strategies to reconcile themselves with their past and to cope with an uncertain world.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Booker Prize-winner Anita Brookner captures the magic and depth of real life with this 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. To avoid having to turn down her Christmas invitation, Paul sets off for a holiday in Venice where he meets Mrs. Vicky Gardner, an intriguing woman in the midst of a divorce. Upon his return to England, a former girlfriend, Sarah, reenters Paul’s world and these two women spark a transformation in Paul, culminating in a shocking decision.

  • 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.

  • Despite growing up with a widowed and reclusive mother, young Zoyes'>#235; Cunningham retains an unshakable faith in storybook happy endings. When her mother, Anne, finally decides to remarry, Zoyes'>#235; is thrilled with her prospective stepfather, Simon Gould, who is not only wealthy, but also kind and generous. Simonyes'>#8217;s affection for his new family allows Zoyes'>#235; to pursue what she thinks is an independent life: her own apartment in a fashionable part of London, a university education, casual affairs, and carefree holidays at Simonyes'>#8217;s villa in Nice. When a series of unexpected calamities intervene, Zoyes'>#235; learns that the idyllic freedom she enjoys has come at a steep price. To preserve both her motheryes'>#8217;s and her own sense of wellbeing, Zoyes'>#235; must discern the real motives of the strangers on whom she now depends, including the silent and mysterious man whose nocturnal movements have attracted her attention.From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 'Literature for me was a magnificent destiny for which I was not yet fully prepared.'Paul and Henrietta Manning and their solitary, academic daughter Jane have nothing in common with Dolly, widow of Henrietta's brother. Corseted and painted, Dolly is a frivolous, superficial woman, who has little time for those without that inestimable quality - charm. Jane, in particular, falls into this category, especially after the death of her parents. But Jane has money - and a conscience - and these bind her to Dolly. Through disagreements, disappointments and disapprovals, Jane and Dolly are enmeshed in an uneasy alliance in which history and family create closer ties than friendship ever could.

  • 'I was foolish enough to think that I was strong enough, and cheerful enough by nature, to avoid unhappiness. I was not yet old enough to see that I was in error.'Alan Sherwood is a cautious, solitary London solicitor who finds himself obsessed by his glamorous cousin Sarah. But Sarah is self-seeking and predatory and their short-lived affair leaves Alan desolate. He finds distraction in Angela, a homely, needy acquaintance of Sarah and they drift into marriage. Alan, however, is haunted by his memories of Sarah, and, attempting to recapture the wordless passion of their time together, he arranges a final meeting. It is an act of betrayal that changes his life for ever.

  • 'I never liked her, nor did she like me; strange, then, how we managed to keep up a sort of friendship for so long.'Fay Langdon has relinquished her singing career to marry Owen, a highly successful solicitor. At one of their dinner parties Fay meets the glamorous, self-obsessed Julia and is destined to join the handful of acolytes who provide Julia with ammunition for her merciless scorn and disapprobation. As the years pass and Fay and Julia's lives grow empty of purpose, they are drawn together by their fear of age and isolation. Yet a mutual mistrust continues to exist between them until Fay is driven to one last heroic act.

  • Hotel du Lac is the classic Booker Prize winning novel by Anita Brookner.

    Into the rarefied atmosphere of the Hotel du Lac timidly walks Edith Hope, romantic novelist and holder of modest dreams. Edith has been exiled from home after embarrassing herself and her friends. She has refused to sacrifice her ideals and remains stubbornly single. But among the pampered women and minor nobility Edith finds Mr Neville, and her chance to escape from a life of humiliating spinsterhood is renewed . . .

    'A classic . . . a book which will be read with pleasure a hundred years from now'Spectator 'A smashing love story. It is very romantic. It is also humorous, witty, touching and formidably clever' The Times 'Hotel du Lac is written with a beautiful grave formality, and it catches at the heart' Observer 'Her technique as a novelist is so sure and so quietly commanding' Hilary Mantel, Guardian 'She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction' Literary Review Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

  • 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.

  • A lonely art historian absorbed in her research seizes the opportunity to share in the joys and pleasures of the lives of a glittering couple, only to find her hopes of companionship and happiness shattered.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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