Even on his first day at English boarding school, Hartmann knew that he was doomed. More than an outsider, he was German. Had he not been paired with Fibich he would have died or killed himself. Only their shared experience as orphans of the Second World War saved him. Now, more than forty years later, they could think no more of living apart than they could of divorcing their wives, although their temperaments were diametrically opposed and they rarely though alike on any matter. It pleased Fibich to stir his tea furiously with a pencil like a harassed salesman, to feel guilty about having made so much money so easily. For Hartmann there was something reassuring about the absurdity of their trade - greetings cards and later photocopiers. Of course the work was anathema to them both, but the money was delightful. Hartmann felt they had come through. Until his daughter had a miscarriage. Then they realized, for the first time since childhood, that a disorder had occurred which they were unable to put right. With unfailing perspicuity, Anita Brookner unfolds the lives of the two men as they become husbands, then fathers, and in Hartmann's case a grandfather, each hunted by their past in their comfortable, bourgeois worlds. Latecomers is at once mordant and sympathetic, her most moving novel to date.
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"Brookner's most touching novel...She has transcended the struggle between men and women to arrive at...truth; as if having solved the mysteries of love, she has moved on to the meaning of life."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer
In Latecomers the author of the bestselling Hotel Du Lac extends her range to produce a glowing masterpiece about the ambiguous pleasures of friendship and domesticity. Hartmann and Fibich are "latecomers" to England, brought over as children from Nazi Germany. No two men could be more dissimilar: Hartmann is an expansive, deliberately unreflective voluptuary; Fibich, the ascetic, lives in a perpetual swoon of homesickness and terror. But as imagined by Anita Brookner, their fifty-year friendship becomes a transcendently funny and touching model for the ways in which human beings come to terms with the tragedy of living.
"Brookner's illuminating depiction of her characters' inner lives makes Latecomers a brilliant, accomplished work."
-- San Francisco ChronicleFrom the Inside Flap:
A novel about the 50-year friendship of two dissimilar German refugees brought over to England as children from Nazi Germany. Their friendship becomes a funny yet touching model for the ways in which human beings come to terms with the tragedy of living.
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Book Description RH Canada UK Dist, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0224025546