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Making Things Betterby Anita Brookner
Synopses & Reviews
The Booker Prize—winning author of The Bay of Angels and Hotel du Lac, “one of the finest novelists of her generation” (The New York Times), now gives us a masterly new novel about the self-discoveries that come with maturity, and the eternal question confronted by people of all ages: What will I do with the rest of my life?
In this richly written, emotionally revealing novel, Brookner once again “works a spell on the reader” (The Washington Post Book World), as a man finds himself contemplating the difficult life questions: How is it all going to work out? What shall I do before the end? As Herz ponders proposing marriage to an old friend, making a trip to Paris to see a favorite painting, selling his home, moving, starting afresh, he knows that he must do something with his remaining years. But what?
Brilliant, funny, profound, Making Things Better captures the quandaries of aging: the misunderstanding of an increasingly modern, alien world; awkward conversations with passersby; even more awkward encounters with longtime friends and acquaintances; the anxieties posed by age and uncertainty—and the bizarre, magnificent self-knowledge that perhaps only age, reflection, and experience can bring.
From the Hardcover edition.
While considering whether or not to propose marriage to an old friend, to make a trip to Paris, to sell his home, and to start afresh, Herz also ponders what he is going to do with the remainder of his life to make it meaningful and satisfying. By the Booker Prize-winning author of The Bay of Angels. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Facing life alone at an advanced age, Julius Herz cannot shake the sense that he should be elsewhere, doing other things. Walking through bustling streets that seem increasingly alien to him, he’s confronted by life’s pressing questions with an urgency he has never known before: what do we owe the people in our lives? How should we fill our days? Feeling fortified despite the growing ache in his heart, Herz finds himself also blessed with a stirring sense of exhilaration. After a lifetime of deferring to others’ stronger wills, he faces a future of possibility, the only constraint the deeply ingrained habits of his mind. Profound and deeply resonant, Making Things Better explores the quandaries of aging, longing, and self-discovery with transfixing precision and spellbinding acuity.
About the Author
Anita Brookner is the author of twenty-one beautifully crafted novels, including Fraud, Undue Influence, and Hotel du Lac, which won the Booker Prize. An international authority on eighteenth-century painting, she became the first female Slade Professor at Cambridge University. She lives in London.
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