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Ebook The Debut by Anita Brookner read! Book Title: The Debut
The size of the: 36.49 MB
Edition: Vintage
Date of issue: February 19th 1990
ISBN: 0679727124
ISBN 13: 9780679727125
The author of the book: Anita Brookner
Language: English
Format files: PDF

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Pay no attention to the blurb here, which is very misleading; her childlike parents do not give Ruth "hothouse attentions," but instead ignore and neglect her unless they need something, like a cup of tea or a room cleaned or a vacation planned or to be picked up from the hospital. Nor is the book about Dr. Weiss's "new start in life" at age forty, really.

The novel starts with the arresting sentence "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature." This does lead you to think that we will be examining Dr. Weiss's life from age forty on. But the book is about her childhood, adolescence, and very early twenties, as she has managed to escape her parents' needy grasp by going to university (they didn't see the need for it) and then spending a year in France studying Balzac for her dissertation. This year in France enables Ruth to blossom, date men, get a new haircut and more fashionable clothes, and have the novel experience of a man doting on her. (On her first date in college, she cooked an elaborate chicken and rice meal for a goodlooking man who showed up hours late, at which point only a small portion of the meal was salvageable, which she fed to him, going hungry herself.)

Ruth can't completely escape doormat status, as Rhoda, the elderly woman she shares living space with, will only let her have a bath at 6 p.m., so she has to rush home from the Bibliothèque nationale at five or she will miss being clean, and as Rhoda's lecherous husband Humphrey watches her through a crack in the bathroom door.

But back home in London, her parents' lives are unraveling and they greedily summon her home. Their housekeeper, well on in years, is improbably getting married and they can't live without someone filling that role. In the last eight pages, the novel quickly covers Ruth's life from ages 22-40.

Those who have read Eugénie Grandet (I haven't) will undoubtedly find parallels to that novel and this one, as Ruth often relates the circumstances of her life to it.

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Ebook The Debut read Online! Anita Brookner published her first novel, A Start In Life in 1981. Her most notable novel, her fourth, Hotel du Lac won the Man Booker Prize in 1984. Her novel, The Next Big Thing was longlisted (alongside John Banville's, Shroud) in 2002 for the Man Booker Prize. She has published over 25 works of fiction, notably: Strangers (2009) shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Fraud (1992) and, The Rules of Engagement (2003). She was also the first female to hold a Slade Professorship of Fine Arts at Cambridge University.

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