Sunday, 15 July 2012

Born this day - 16th July 1928 - Anita Brookner

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Brookner 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 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 has not married; and took care of her parents as they aged.
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.
The purpose of this type of blog is to practise research skills but it is also quite interesting analysing what makes a writer. It seems for the most part that we write from personal experience and Anita Brookner is a good example. A trend I have noticed in my own writing to draw nearer to who I am is being enhanced imperceptibly with every page I complete. It would be untrue to say that my central character, Patrick A Steele, is my alter ego. If that was the case the police would be knocking on my door and searching for weaponry! However, there are aspects of Steele that are or have been me. Am I disturbed by this? Not really is the answer because no one knows which parts are which. As I have metaphorically thumped the lectern of my writing repeatedly raging that I am writing for me and me alone then it is unsurprising that slices of me are in my books.
I have great admiration for writers of futuristic and paranormal writing as it seems to me that it would be more difficult to use one's own experience to embellish, notice I don't say enhance, that type of imaginative tale.  I don't know I have never tried to write in that genre and have no desire to I just prefer to read them.
My conclusion in writing this blog is for anyone, or no one, and would be to remain anonymous but trumpet your strengths and failings in your work.
God Bless