Standing on a railway platform in a Swiss resort town, sensibly clad in his Burberry raincoat and walking shoes, a man thinks he may be looking at the woman for whom he ruined his life many years earlier. Alan Sherwood, a quiet English solicitor, remembers back to a time when he stepped briefly out of character to indulge in a liaison with Sarah Miller, an intriguing but heartless distant relative--only to find himself in a series of absurd situations that culminated in his marriage to Sarah's clinging, childlike friend Angela.
With her compassionate portrait of a man who has paid a terrible price for his folly, Anita Brookner gives us a novel that it at once harrowing and humane. In the traditions of Henry James and Thomas Mann, Altered States is a beautifully rendered tale of loneliness, guilt, and erotic obsession.
About the Author
Anita Brookner was born in London and, apart from several years in Paris, has lived there ever since. She trained as an art historian and taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art until 1988.
"Engrossing-- a brilliant X-ray of obsession." -New York Times Book Review
"Brilliant.... In a category of its own." -The Globe and Mail
"Altered States -- is among [Brookner's] best. Its spare, gripping narrative and sombre, yet illuminating look at the power of passion is extraordinary." -The London Free Press
"Brookner's vision of human behaviour is scrupulously honest, without ever being cruel-- a gem of revelation." -Chicago Tribune