|Born||16 July 1928
Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom
Personal life and education
Brookner was born in Herne Hill, a suburb of London. She was the only child of Newson Bruckner, a Polish immigrant to Britain, and Maude Schiska, a singer whose father had emigrated from Poland and founded a tobacco factory. Maude changed the family's surname to Brookner because of anti-German sentiment in Britain. Anita Brookner had a lonely childhood, although her grandmother and uncle lived with the family, and her parents, secular Jews, opened their house to Jewish refugees escaping Nazi persecution during the 1930s and World War II.
Brookner was educated at the private James Allen's Girls' School. In 1949 she received a BA in History from King's College London, and in 1953 a doctorate in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
Brookner has not married, but took care of her parents as they aged.
In 1967 she became the first woman to hold the Slade Professorship of Fine Art at Cambridge University. She was promoted to Reader at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1977, where she worked until her retirement in 1988.
Brookner published her first novel, A Start In Life in 1981, at the age of 53. Since then she has published a novel approximately every year.
Brookner is highly regarded as a stylist. Her novels explore themes of emotional loss and difficulties associated with fitting into society, and typically depict intellectual, middle-class women, who suffer isolation and disappointments in love. Many of Brookner's characters are the children of European immigrants to Britain; a number appear to be of Jewish descent. Brookner's fourth book, Hotel du Lac (1984) was awarded the Booker Prize.
- 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Strangers (shortlist)
- 1990 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- 1984 Man Booker Prize, Best English Language Novel, Hotel du Lac
- Greuze 1725-1805: The Rise and Fall of an Eighteenth-century Phenomenon (1972)
- Jacques-Louis David (1980)
- A Start in Life (1981, US title The Debut)
- Providence (1982)
- Look at Me (1983)
- Hotel du Lac (1984), won the Booker Prize
- Family and Friends (1985)
- A Misalliance (1986)
- A Friend from England (1987)
- Latecomers (1988)
- Lewis Percy (1989)
- Brief Lives (1990)
- A Closed Eye (1991)
- Fraud (1992)
- A Family Romance (1993, US title Dolly)
- A Private View (1994)
- Incidents in the Rue Laugier (1995)
- Altered States (1996)
- Visitors (1997)
- Falling Slowly (1998)
- Undue Influence (1999)
- The Bay of Angels (2001)
- The Next Big Thing (2002, US title Making Things Better), longlisted for the Booker Prize
- The Rules of Engagement (2003)
- Leaving Home (2005)
- Strangers (2009)
- At The Hairdressers (2011), novella, available as an ebook only
- Anita Brookner Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin
- Shusha Guppy (Fall 1987). "Anita Brookner, The Art of Fiction No. 98". Paris Review.