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Anita Brookner (1928–2016)

Author of Hotel du Lac

33+ Works 11,548 Members 293 Reviews 52 Favorited

About the Author

Anita Brookner was born in London, England on July 16, 1928. 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. She went on to lecture in art at Reading University and the Courtauld Institute, where she show more specialized in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art. She became the first woman to be named as Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge University in 1967. Her first novel, A Start in Life, was published in 1981. Some of her other works include The Bay of Angels, The Next Big Thing, The Rules of Engagement, Latecomers, Leaving Home, Incidents in the Rue Laugier, Look at Me, and Strangers. Hotel du Lac won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1984 and was adapted for television in 1986. She has also written scholarly works about Jacques Louis David, Jean Baptiste Greuze, and Jean-Antoine Watteau. She died on March 10, 2016 at the age of 87. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy Roberta Rood.


Works by Anita Brookner

Hotel du Lac (1984) 2,790 copies
Look at Me (1981) 633 copies
A Start in Life (1981) 562 copies
Family and Friends (1985) 494 copies
A Misalliance (1986) 447 copies
Latecomers (1988) 441 copies
A Friend from England (1987) 404 copies
Brief Lives (1990) 390 copies
Providence (1982) 366 copies
Fraud (1992) 363 copies
Undue Influence (1999) 347 copies
Altered States (1996) 336 copies
The Bay of Angels (2001) 335 copies
A Closed Eye (1991) 334 copies
Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995) 326 copies
Visitors (1997) 325 copies
The Rules of Engagement (2003) 315 copies
A Family Romance (1993) 307 copies
Leaving Home (2005) 302 copies
The Next Big Thing (2002) 301 copies
Falling Slowly (1998) 300 copies
Lewis Percy (1989) 299 copies
Strangers (2009) 272 copies
A Private View (1994) 262 copies
Soundings (1997) 51 copies
Watteau (1900) 42 copies
Jacques-Louis David (1980) 31 copies
At the Hairdresser's (2011) 24 copies
The Stories of Edith Wharton (volume 1) (1988) — Editor — 22 copies
The Stories of Edith Wharton (volume 2) (1989) — Editor — 21 copies

Associated Works

The House of Mirth (1905) — Introduction, some editions — 9,735 copies
The Reef (1912) — Introduction, some editions — 824 copies
The Constant Nymph (1924) — Introduction, some editions — 390 copies
Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy (1958) — Introduction, some editions; some editions — 298 copies
Troy Chimneys (1952) — Introduction, some editions — 220 copies
The Stories of Edith Wharton (1982) — Introduction, some editions — 69 copies
The Collected Stories of Edith Wharton (1998) — Introduction, some editions — 65 copies
Granta 13: After the Revolution (1984) — Contributor — 54 copies
The Letters of Gustave Flaubert: 1830-1880 (2001) — Foreword, some editions — 15 copies
Hotel du Lac [1986 film] (2003) — Original novel — 15 copies
Gauguin — Translator, some editions — 1 copy


1001 (70) 19th century (77) 20th century (390) 20th century literature (87) American (229) American literature (346) Booker Prize (122) British (272) British fiction (130) British literature (277) classic (383) classics (415) domestic fiction (67) ebook (95) England (122) English (84) English fiction (75) English literature (197) fiction (3,728) historical fiction (82) Kindle (103) literary fiction (81) literature (467) London (81) New York (198) New York City (83) novel (765) own (107) read (295) romance (72) society (76) Switzerland (93) to-read (1,086) UK (137) unread (133) USA (68) Virago (106) Virago Modern Classics (68) women (204) women writers (66)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Brookner, Anita
Date of death
Herne Hill, London, England, UK
Place of death
London, England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
Paris, France
James Allen's Girls School, UK
King's College, London (BA|1949)
Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (Ph.D|1953)
École du Louvre
art historian
university professor
Courtauld Institute of Art
University of London
University of Cambridge
Reading University
Awards and honors
Commander, Order of the British Empire (1990)
University of London (Fellow, King's College)
Booker Prize for Fiction (1984)
A. M. Heath & Co
Short biography
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.



Anita Brookner in Virago Modern Classics (August 2013)


Another Brookner heroine, all intellect and poise, but blind to the flaws in the man she wants to marry. The characters, especially the women are all very well drawn and distinct. As ever with Brookner the plot is fairly minimal, but the writing is precise and excellent.
AlisonSakai | 8 other reviews | Apr 14, 2024 |
Ruth Weiss is thwarted in achieving the happiness in life that she imagined was her due. The tug of familial responsibilities, loyalties and a melancholic disposition defeat her ideas of personal freedom. Ruth has fortitude nevertheless; her life as scholar and writer is an honourable one.
Anita Brookner hit the ground running with this her first novel. All her close insight of her characters' motivations and weaknesses is evident in her understated style.
ivanfranko | 17 other reviews | Mar 23, 2024 |
A gem of a book that, at its heart is, as usual with Ms Brookner, a graceful exposition of family life from one of the great writers.
ivanfranko | 5 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |
I have come to the conclusion that Anita Brookner is beyond measure a gifted novelist who deserves her prizes. Here again is another example of her extraordinary gift to extract the elements that underlie and influence the life paths of her characters. "Brief Lives" is one of her best from my point of view.
Her detached and melancholic writing entrances me, because this style lets her reveal the nobility at the heart of her principal characters.
ivanfranko | 6 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |



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