'Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.'
Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely. Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment.
Yet in revisiting her London upbringing, her friendships and doomed Parisian love affairs, she wonders if perhaps there might not be a chance for a new start in life . . .
'Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.' Beautiful, intelligent but lonely academic Ruth Weiss studies Balzac trying to work out exactly where her own life went wrong. Yet as she finds herself examining her childhood in London, the friendships that once meant so much to her and the ill-fated relationships she embarked on in Paris, she sees that her life has not been quite the series of missteps she had once thought. That perhaps there is still a chance at happiness, a new start . . . 'Enormously sophisticated, knowing, often very funny tragi-comedy' Financial Times
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.
Excellent, brilliantly drawn. Sunday Times Enormously sophisticated, knowing, often very funny tragi-comedy. Financial Times A delight, amusing, beautifully written. The Times How can anything be so funny and so sad both at once? Every sentence is an object lesson in compression and wit. -- Tessa Hadley Guardian Summer Reads, 2015 Enormously sophisticated, knowing, often very funny tragi-comedy Financial Times Excellent Sunday Times
Excellent-- Sunday Times Enormously sophisticated, knowing, often very funny tragi-comedy-- Financial Times How can anything be so funny and so sad both at once? Every sentence is an object lesson in compression and wit.--Tessa Hadley, Guardian Summer Reads, 2015 A delight, amusing, beautifully written.-- The Times Enormously sophisticated, knowing, often very funny tragi-comedy.-- Financial Times Excellent, brilliantly drawn.-- Sunday Times
The first novel from the author of the Booker Prize-winning Hotel du Lac, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
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