Booker Prize winning novelist Anita Brookner dies at 87

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2016 11:23 AM
Booker Prize winning novelist Anita Brookner dies at 87

LONDON (AP) — Anita Brookner, a Booker Prize-winning novelist who explored the emotional undercurrents of quiet lives, has died at 87.

A death notice in Tuesday's edition of The Times newspaper said Brookner died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday.

Born in London in 1928, the only child of Polish Jewish parents, Brookner began her career as an art historian — specializing in French art — and was the first woman to be named Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University.

She published her first novel, "A Start in Life," when she was in her early 50s and went on to write some 25 works of fiction. She won the Booker Prize, Britain's leading literary award, in 1984 for "Hotel Du Lac," the story of an isolated writer adrift on the shore of Lake Geneva. It was later adapted into a BBC television miniseries.

Her spare, unflinching portrayals of loneliness and isolation won praise, especially from other writers. Novelist Jilly Cooper told The Times that Brookner was "a wonderful writer who had this wonderful lucid prose... she was an icon of my age."

Her publisher, Juliet Annan, told the BBC that Brookner "wrote about the biggest fears we have: loneliness and death."

Brookner never married. The death notice said she had requested that there be no funeral.