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A Novel

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The extraordinary Anita Brookner, praised by The New York Times as "one of the finest novelists of her generation," 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.  When her late husband's relatives prevail on her to take in a young man for the week before an unexpected family wedding, Thea's carefully constructed, solitary world is thrown into disarray.  As the wedding approaches, old family secrets surface and conflicts erupt between the generations, trapping an unwilling Thea in the middle.  Confronted by the company of Steve Best, a carefree young wanderer, Thea's fragile facade 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 prceptions about people are here combined into another superb novel by the writer about whom The New York Times Book Review has said, "If Henry James were around, the only writer he'd be reading with complete approval would be Anita Brookner."


From the Hardcover edition.
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The extraordinary Anita Brookner, praised by The New York Times as "one of the finest novelists of her generation," 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.  When her late husband's relatives prevail on her to take in a young man for the week before an unexpected family wedding, Thea's carefully constructed, solitary world is thrown into disarray.  As the wedding approaches, old family secrets surface and conflicts erupt between the generations, trapping an unwilling Thea in the middle.  Confronted by the company of Steve Best, a carefree young wanderer, Thea's fragile facade 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 prceptions about people are here combined into another superb novel by the writer about whom The New York Times Book Review has said, "If Henry James were around, the only writer he'd be reading with complete approval would be Anita Brookner."


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (256 pages)
Published: December 29, 1998
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679781479
Other books byAnita Brookner
  • Hotel Du Lac

    Hotel Du Lac
    In the novel that won her the Booker Prize and established her international reputation, Anita Brookner finds a new vocabulary for framing the eternal question "Why love?" It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a psudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to resore her to her senses. But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure. Beautifully observed, witheringly funny, Hotel du Lac is Brookner at her most stylish and potently subversive.

    The Bay of Angels

    The Bay of Angels
    Despite growing up with a widowed and reclusive mother, young Zoë Cunningham retains an unshakable faith in storybook happy endings. When her mother, Anne, finally decides to remarry, Zoë is thrilled with her prospective stepfather, Simon Gould, who is not only wealthy, but also kind and generous. Simon’s affection for his new family allows Zoë 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 Simon’s villa in Nice. When a series of unexpected calamities intervene, Zoë learns that the idyllic freedom she enjoys has come at a steep price. To preserve both her mother’s and her own sense of wellbeing, Zoë 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.

    Incidents in the Rue Laugier

    Incidents in the Rue Laugier
    Maud Gonthier yearns for an escape from the cocoon of the bourgeois modesty. The splendid, caddish David Tyler appears to offer one. In this stylish, deeply knowing novel by the author of Hotel du Lac, Maud's seduction creates a chemistry of longing, sensuality, and betrayal--with a surprising climax. 240 pp.

    Altered States

    Altered States
    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.

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  • Towards evening the oppressive heat was tempered by a slight breeze, although this merely served to power drifts and eddies of a warmth almost tropical in its intensity.

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