Anita Brookner died on March 10th this year. Her obituary in the New York Times brought back memories of this remarkable English novelist. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/arts/international/anita-brookner-hotel-du-lac-obituary.html
I have loved her novels for a long time and I still have my copy of Hotel du Lac, which won the Booker Prize in 1984.
Brookner’s work definitely falls into the category of quiet books. Her characters are usually women alone coping with disappointment and unrequited love. Picture silent London flats, long walks on sidewalks covered with wet leaves, fog, sensible shoes, meager suppers eaten in descending twilight.
I read many of these novels when I was a harried working mother, at a time when my world was filled with the noise and busyness of family life. It was sheer heaven to fall into the slowly paced days and interior musings of Brookner’s heroines. Beyond her concise elegant prose, I appreciated her wit and subtle humor.
I was happy to learn of her last work, a novella called At the Hairdressers, which is available only as an e-book. You can read it in under an hour. I was thrilled to escape my now more quiet world and rediscover that essential Brookner. Her protagonist is a woman of eighty and the ending of this story is not what you might expect.