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By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,Sun Staff | December 14, 2003
The Rules of Engagement, by Anita Brookner. Random House. 276 pages. $23.95. Elizabeth Wetherall, the heroine of Anita Brookner's 22nd novel, has a recurring dream in which she relocates to Paris, a city she imagines as the antidote to all her misery. Instead of traveling there, however, the eternally gloomy Elizabeth spends a lifetime -- and the entirety of this book -- pining for Paris, happiness and peace of mind. Yearning for something far beyond the confines of her drab London flat, she repeatedly tells herself: "I must go away, away from the tedium of the English weather, away from the more menacing tedium of female soul-searching, ... back to Paris."
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By VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 22, 2006
Leaving Home Anita Brookner Random House / 242 pages / $23.95 Anita Brookner is an acquired taste, like espresso or olives. But, as with all such acquisitions, once enamored of Brookner one will never cease to enjoy that heady yet bitter taste. As an art historian at Cambridge, Brookner wrote an impressive series of critical works on painters and art before publishing her first novel in 1981 at age 53. Since then she has published a novel a year, each a small gem of clarity and intensity.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Merle Rubin and By Merle Rubin,Special to the Sun | January 12, 2003
Making Things Better, by Anita Brookner. Random House. 272 pages. $23.95. The mild-mannered, elderly hero of Anita Brookner's 21st novel leads a quiet life in London. Julius Herz is courteous to his neighbors and generous toward his ex-wife, Josie. He cannot find it in himself to blame her for decamping years ago when they were forced to move in with his querulous parents. Having devoted the best years of his life to looking after them and his emotionally disabled, institutionalized brother, he is free at last to do as he pleases.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,Sun Staff | December 14, 2003
The Rules of Engagement, by Anita Brookner. Random House. 276 pages. $23.95. Elizabeth Wetherall, the heroine of Anita Brookner's 22nd novel, has a recurring dream in which she relocates to Paris, a city she imagines as the antidote to all her misery. Instead of traveling there, however, the eternally gloomy Elizabeth spends a lifetime -- and the entirety of this book -- pining for Paris, happiness and peace of mind. Yearning for something far beyond the confines of her drab London flat, she repeatedly tells herself: "I must go away, away from the tedium of the English weather, away from the more menacing tedium of female soul-searching, ... back to Paris."
NEWS
By Charles Solomon and Charles Solomon,L. A. Times | February 26, 1995
"Dolly," by Anita Brookner. 206 pages. New York: Vintage. $11Anita Brookner writes with the eloquent formality of an earlier generation of British novelists. The only child of bookish parents, Jane Manning finds that she has inherited a comfortable fortune and a singularly eccentric aunt - a family onus passed from mother to daughter. Brookner draws an exceptionally vivid portrait of a woman who is selfish, vain and patronizing, yet almost pathetically vulnerable: " For the essence of Dolly was longing: it was expressed in that ardent smile which had captivated my uncle on the dance floor long ago, and which, before that, had left so many American soldiers with a disarming and disarmingly misleading impression of a typical French girl."
FEATURES
By Sherryl Connelly and Sherryl Connelly,New York Daily News | March 15, 1993
In her fiction, Anita Brookner intimately acquaints a reader with the genteel futility that pervades the lives of her characters, British women whose mobility is severely restricted by their cast and class. Her heroine is typically the daughter of the household who, if she's lucky, passes directly from her father's care to her husband's controlling hand. Personal autonomy is the answer to a question she hasn't the courage to raise.Anna Durrant, the heroine of Ms. Brookner's newest novel, "Fraud," is not one of the lucky ones.
NEWS
By VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 22, 2006
Leaving Home Anita Brookner Random House / 242 pages / $23.95 Anita Brookner is an acquired taste, like espresso or olives. But, as with all such acquisitions, once enamored of Brookner one will never cease to enjoy that heady yet bitter taste. As an art historian at Cambridge, Brookner wrote an impressive series of critical works on painters and art before publishing her first novel in 1981 at age 53. Since then she has published a novel a year, each a small gem of clarity and intensity.
NEWS
By Zofia Smardz | August 4, 1991
BRIEF LIVES.Anita Brookner.Random House.260 pages. $20. None of the lives of the characters in Anita Brookner's new novel, "Brief Lives," is actually very brief at all. The shortest spans 52 years -- and a half-century is a goodly interval, after all -- while those of the major characters stretch on into the 70s and 80s, into the realm of advanced old age.But of course, years alone are not the full measure of a life. Against those other measures -- youthful dreams fulfilled or faded, opportunities seized or missed, mistakes eluded or incurred -- the lives Ms. Brookner describes are brief indeed, never long enough for rectification, for rearrangement or restitution.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,Special to the Sun | January 2, 2000
"Undue Influence," by Anita Brookner. Random House. 240 pages. $24. Ah, to be one of Anita Brook- ner's characters -- tightly wrapped, analytical and completely incognizant of their own misery. Reading about such rigid souls can be annoying, even infuriating. But the quiet delight in this Booker-Prize-winning author's latest novel, "Undue Influence," is the way she turns this theme inside-out. Her protagonist, Claire, is full of judgments when it comes to other people. She's quick to pinpoint why they're inferior or unhappy, even if the reason is of her own invention.
NEWS
By Zofia Smardz | March 20, 1994
Remember a time when women made their way by riding the subtle waves of charm? When the sole measure of a woman's success was whether she managed to attract a man? When female solidarity was an oxymoron instead of a feminist ideal?It's not so long in the past, that time, and yet a lifetime ago. Already the women who lived by its rules and proscriptions seem like relics of a quaint Stone Age -- faintly fascinating, faintly despised.Such a woman is Dolly, the eponymous heroine of Anita Brookner's 13th novel.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Merle Rubin and By Merle Rubin,Special to the Sun | January 12, 2003
Making Things Better, by Anita Brookner. Random House. 272 pages. $23.95. The mild-mannered, elderly hero of Anita Brookner's 21st novel leads a quiet life in London. Julius Herz is courteous to his neighbors and generous toward his ex-wife, Josie. He cannot find it in himself to blame her for decamping years ago when they were forced to move in with his querulous parents. Having devoted the best years of his life to looking after them and his emotionally disabled, institutionalized brother, he is free at last to do as he pleases.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,Special to the Sun | January 2, 2000
"Undue Influence," by Anita Brookner. Random House. 240 pages. $24. Ah, to be one of Anita Brook- ner's characters -- tightly wrapped, analytical and completely incognizant of their own misery. Reading about such rigid souls can be annoying, even infuriating. But the quiet delight in this Booker-Prize-winning author's latest novel, "Undue Influence," is the way she turns this theme inside-out. Her protagonist, Claire, is full of judgments when it comes to other people. She's quick to pinpoint why they're inferior or unhappy, even if the reason is of her own invention.
NEWS
By Charles Solomon and Charles Solomon,L. A. Times | February 26, 1995
"Dolly," by Anita Brookner. 206 pages. New York: Vintage. $11Anita Brookner writes with the eloquent formality of an earlier generation of British novelists. The only child of bookish parents, Jane Manning finds that she has inherited a comfortable fortune and a singularly eccentric aunt - a family onus passed from mother to daughter. Brookner draws an exceptionally vivid portrait of a woman who is selfish, vain and patronizing, yet almost pathetically vulnerable: " For the essence of Dolly was longing: it was expressed in that ardent smile which had captivated my uncle on the dance floor long ago, and which, before that, had left so many American soldiers with a disarming and disarmingly misleading impression of a typical French girl."
FEATURES
By Sherryl Connelly and Sherryl Connelly,New York Daily News | March 15, 1993
In her fiction, Anita Brookner intimately acquaints a reader with the genteel futility that pervades the lives of her characters, British women whose mobility is severely restricted by their cast and class. Her heroine is typically the daughter of the household who, if she's lucky, passes directly from her father's care to her husband's controlling hand. Personal autonomy is the answer to a question she hasn't the courage to raise.Anna Durrant, the heroine of Ms. Brookner's newest novel, "Fraud," is not one of the lucky ones.
NEWS
By Zofia Smardz | August 4, 1991
BRIEF LIVES.Anita Brookner.Random House.260 pages. $20. None of the lives of the characters in Anita Brookner's new novel, "Brief Lives," is actually very brief at all. The shortest spans 52 years -- and a half-century is a goodly interval, after all -- while those of the major characters stretch on into the 70s and 80s, into the realm of advanced old age.But of course, years alone are not the full measure of a life. Against those other measures -- youthful dreams fulfilled or faded, opportunities seized or missed, mistakes eluded or incurred -- the lives Ms. Brookner describes are brief indeed, never long enough for rectification, for rearrangement or restitution.
NEWS
By Anna Quindlen | August 8, 1991
THE VOICE I assume for children's bad behavior is like a winter coat, dark and heavy. I put it on the other night when my eldest child appeared in the kitchen doorway, an hour after he had gone to bed."What are you doing down here?" I began to say, when he interrupted, "I finished it!"The dominatrix tone went out the window and we settled down for an old-fashioned dish about the fine points of "The Phantom Tollbooth." It is the wonderful tale of a bored and discontented boy named Milo and the journey he makes one day in his toy car with the Humbug and the Spelling Bee and a slew of other fantastical characters who change his life.
FEATURES
By Laurie Kaplan and Laurie Kaplan,Special to The Sun | August 8, 1994
For an editor, compiling a list of the world's "greatest" or "most important" women writers and then settling on the top 135 must be a no-win intellectual/political exercise similar to being a celebrity guest on NPR's "Desert Island Discs" program: Everyone will sneer at your taste whatever you do. The trick is to pick your favorites and leave it at that -- no apologies.Assembling a representative group of great women writers may be a more daunting (and politically incorrect) task than lining up 10 favorite pieces of music.
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