Saturday 12 November 2016

Among Strangers

Paul Sturgis, the hero of Brookner's last full-length novel, fears he will die among the strangers of the book's title.

The novel's epigraph is from Freud, whom Brookner revered: England, says Freud, for all its glory, is not a place for the old.

An unnamed neighbour of Brookner's, appended a comment to A. N. Wilson's obituary essay on the Mail Online, referenced in an earlier post. Brookner's death was precipitated by quite a serious fire in her flat, from which she was rescued. The fire was caused by her smoking. But she was not given enough care in hospital. The nurses were, we learn, overworked. She was not got out of bed, was not rehabilitated.

This is difficult to read. One often reads Brookner novels with one's heart in one's mouth. But this was Brookner's life.
Doctors without Borders, beneficiary in Brookner's will

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