Monday, October 1, 2012

Anita Brookner pulls me into the 21st Century

It has been too long since I looked at Peta Mayer's Anita Brookner blog.  I popped over there this weekend and discovered that Anita Brookner published a novella with Penguin in 2011, but it is only available in electronic format. I hate e-readers. Is Anita Brookner going to be the one to finally get me to read something on an e-reader. The answer is "hell yeah". But, that is where it will end.

Peta notes that Brookner has never written a novella before. I think that some would argue that many of her novels, being around the 200 page mark, qualify as novellas.

A new Brookner. How cool.


  1. Dear Thomas,

    Let the cat out of the bag! I must confess that I did read this story by Anita Brookner on Kindle (not mine. A friend who knows I love Anita Brookner's stories lent it to me so that I could read this book).

    I wonder why Anita Brookner hadn't written more short stories like this one before. From the first sentence to the last, I was stirred up by her magical and beautiful sentences. I don't think one reads Anita Brookner for her plot. You read because you love the elegance of her writing...the way she weaves one beautifully lucid sentence after another like stringing beads. But the theme of this short story is definitely Brooknerian territory in which it depicts women in lonely, quiet resignation and often humiliated situations or conflicts and longing for emotional or psychological consolation that does not come pushing into their lives.

    I sincerely hope that AB would be writing a few more short stories (if not, a new novel) as I enjoyed reading this novella very much. There are quite a few writers who have written stories set in the hairdresser's salon. I particuarly remember reading Elizabeth Jane Howard's "Getting It Right" (the central character of the nvoel, Gavin Lamb is a hairdresser), AB's friend, Julian Barnes's short story, "A Short History of Hairdressing" (available on The New Yorker website) and last but not least, there is one of the most potent and raw stories "Medusa's Ankles" (published in her collection of short stories "The Matisse Stories") by A. S. Byatt, a memorable short story that is also set in the hairdresser.

    I hope you enjoy this short story by AB as much as I do!!

    Thank you, Thomas.

    Best wishes, ASD

  2. Ooh, thanks for that news, Thomas - no evil e-reader issues with me, so I've got it ready to go!