Generic Anita Brookner Undue Influence

ISBN 13: 9780140284157

Undue Influence

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9780140284157: Undue Influence

Undue Influence is the nineteenth novel by Anita Brookner, the Booker Prize winning author of Hotel du Lac. Enigmatic Claire is 30 and lives alone. When she meets Martin Gibson, a faded scholar, she becomes inordinately interested. She is even more interested when she meets his wife, a far more spectacular personality. But the unexpected news of this woman's death releases emotions that were not entirely foreseen. "All of Brookner's novels are great, but this is one of the best...Brookner, though acclaimed, deserves more excitement, more rapture from us. Hotel du Lac and the Booker Prize were a long time ago, and it's not her fault if she has bloomed equally brightly every year without fail. I think we're taking her for granted if we don't jump up and celebrate this book right now". (Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday). "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.

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Review:

A new Anita Brookner is unlikely to surprise, unlikely to shock or disturb. Yet her fiction remains utterly compelling. Undue Influence, her 19th novel, follows the usual pattern: a single, bookish woman, whose life is dominated by loneliness and the seeming impossibility of marriage, has her forlorn equilibrium disturbed by an unsuitable attraction. At 29, Claire Pitt is one of Brookner's younger alter egos--financially independent, clever, emancipated but empty. When she sees Martin Gibson in the secondhand bookshop where she works, Claire is beguiled.

I looked at my watch and realized that he had been silently reading for thirty-five minutes. By this time he could have had one or two of Heine's poems off by heart. Either that or he was translating them. Perhaps he too was a man of letters. But he looked too ineffable, and also too unhappy, for that. I altered my estimate of him. He was a dilettante, a caste I had always admired.
Soon, Claire's desire to be part of the story she tells herself about Martin's probable life leads her to provoke the quiet crisis so indicative of a Brookner dénouement.

This gifted author, who is seen by some critics as the embodiment of Jamesian exactitude, is really quite the opposite. An almost pathological writer, Brookner returns again and again to her notion of the inability of women to think of marriage as something that will rescue them--and yet they are pulled toward the ideal (one they easily deconstruct) of a romantic savior. A particular, melancholic despondence saturates her work, and disappointment dominates, despite the humor, erudition, and classical elegance of her prose. Brookner is a modern, bitter writer. Few novelists have the ability to create such complete characters and then dissect their motives so clearly. Even fewer have the skill to delineate the emotional complexity of the domesticated manners that mark our inability to communicate with one other. Undue Influence is another triumph of profound psychological investigation--and perception--from one of England's finest writers. --Mark Thwaite

From the Inside Flap:

In Undue Influence, acclaimed novelist Anita Brookner proves once again that even in the most closely circumscribed of lives, hearts can venture into unknown-and potentially explosive-territory.
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 acquaintance-and, 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.

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Anita Brookner
Editorial: 2000-07-27. (2000)
ISBN 10: 014028415X ISBN 13: 9780140284157
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Descripción 2000-07-27., 2000. Estado de conservación: New. Penguin. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 224pp. . Nº de ref. de la librería NF-1613616

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Brookner, Anita
Editorial: 2000-07-27. (2000)
ISBN 10: 014028415X ISBN 13: 9780140284157
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Descripción 2000-07-27., 2000. Estado de conservación: New. Penguin. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 224pp. . Nº de ref. de la librería NF-1714069

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Anita Brookner
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ISBN 10: 014028415X ISBN 13: 9780140284157
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Descripción Penguin Books Ltd, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 014028415X

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