Sunday 20 September 2020

Ebay Brookner

The available photographs of Anita Brookner date almost exclusively from her fifties onwards. We have a school photo, but nothing from her later youth or early middle age. Most available photos are staged publicity shots. They follow conventions. Brookner no doubt gave as much thought to the tenor of such images as she evidently did to the character of the information she was willing to disclose in the few interviews she allowed. She doesn't often smile.

A set of 'new' photos is available to view on Ebay at the moment (type 'Anita Brookner photo'). They comprise a collection of images turned out of an old newspaper archive. We see Brookner reading Spycatcher on her familiar striped sofa. We see her in a flowered dress smiling (this is from 1989, at a Lewis Percy signing). We see her clutching Hotel du Lac at the 1984 Booker Prize dinner. And we see a rare impromptu shot of a startled Brookner in what looks like a hotel lobby. I suspect this was taken on one of her few trips to the US.* Worth a look.

* There are one or two toothsome tales of Brookner in New York - in particular of her lunch with a Boston reporter. She felt, she told the journalist, too European for New York, and insisted their interview take place within the safe confines of a formal restaurant.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions and comments are always welcome. (Please note: there will be a short delay before publication, as comments are moderated.)