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Undue Influence

Brookner, Anita

337 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 037550334X / ISBN 13: 9780375503344
Published by Random House, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1999
Used Condition Fine Hard Cover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.) Quantity Available: 1
Available From More sellers View all  copies of this book

A Fine/Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000376

About this title:

Synopsis:

This superb new novel by the author who has been called "one of the finest novelists of her generation" (The New York Times) tells the story of Claire Pitt, a young woman who has lived most of her life under the watchful eyes of her parents. After her mother's death, Claire reexamines her day-to-day routine and her future in her London flat. She passes the time working in a bookstore, where she meets a mysterious and attractive young man whose wife is ill, and they begin a relationship that dramatically alters Claire's vision of herself, her past, and her future.

          "Under Brookner's transforming eye, the most ordinary lives become engrossing adventures," wrote the San Francisco Chronicle, and in Undue Influence Brookner once again combines the exquisite writing and astute psychological perception for which she's famous.

Review: A new Anita Brookner is unlikely to surprise, unlikely to shock or disturb. Yet her fiction remains utterly compelling. Undue Influence, her 19th novel, follows the usual pattern: a single, bookish woman, whose life is dominated by loneliness and the seeming impossibility of marriage, has her forlorn equilibrium disturbed by an unsuitable attraction. At 29, Claire Pitt is one of Brookner's younger alter egos--financially independent, clever, emancipated but empty. When she sees Martin Gibson in the secondhand bookshop where she works, Claire is beguiled.

I looked at my watch and realized that he had been silently reading for thirty-five minutes. By this time he could have had one or two of Heine's poems off by heart. Either that or he was translating them. Perhaps he too was a man of letters. But he looked too ineffable, and also too unhappy, for that. I altered my estimate of him. He was a dilettante, a caste I had always admired.
Soon, Claire's desire to be part of the story she tells herself about Martin's probable life leads her to provoke the quiet crisis so indicative of a Brookner dénouement.

This gifted author, who is seen by some critics as the embodiment of Jamesian exactitude, is really quite the opposite. An almost pathological writer, Brookner returns again and again to her notion of the inability of women to think of marriage as something that will rescue them--and yet they are pulled toward the ideal (one they easily deconstruct) of a romantic savior. A particular, melancholic despondence saturates her work, and disappointment dominates, despite the humor, erudition, and classical elegance of her prose. Brookner is a modern, bitter writer. Few novelists have the ability to create such complete characters and then dissect their motives so clearly. Even fewer have the skill to delineate the emotional complexity of the domesticated manners that mark our inability to communicate with one other. Undue Influence is another triumph of profound psychological investigation--and perception--from one of England's finest writers. --Mark Thwaite

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Undue Influence

Publisher: Random House, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

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