Anita Brookner at 80

Just after she won the Booker Prize for Hotel du Lac in 1984, Anita Brookner said: “'I feel I could get into The Guinness Book of Records as the world's loneliest, most miserable woman.” Since then, as if to prove the point, she’s been remarkably reclusive. She's accepted few social engagements, seen friends rarely, and hasn’t granted an interview in 12 years. That is until now. Upon the release of Strangers, her first book in four years, Brookner, now 80, sat down with The Telegraph’s Mick Brown to discuss her work, her goal of going “unnoticed,” and the former p.m. “Think of Tony Blair,” she says. “Unrealistic. Selfish. Happy as a clam!'