Beautifully written novel examining the New York City art scene of the 1970's
Library JournalIn this rich and multifaceted characterization, Grossman traces the developement of "Four Figures" whose lives irrevocably intersect at a Manhattan art school. The characters grapple with several issues as they struggle to connect and redefine their identities at different stages of life. Otis Daley is the dean, whose highly ordered world comes apart when his dying wife leaves him for another man. Claire, a student obsessed with French Impressionism, is forced out of her sacrosanct inner world when her father dies and she discovers that she is a lesbian. Danny, a sophomore, is locked in a class struggle and hopelessly in love with Claire, while Sonja Barlow, an aging, aloof sculptor, has taken a position teaching as the bequest from her famous lover has dwindled. Although vastly different, each character experiences alienation and displacement while searching for a more personal artistic involvement. The progression each makes in his or her journey is not clearly linear, which allows the reader to empathize with all the characters. Art truly is life in this insightful novel, as the characters are revealed and transformed through its medium. Highly recommended for collections of serious fiction.Marcie Zwaik.
Sojurner The Womens ForumSteeped in intelligence and sophistication, engaging the intellect as much as the emotions...a novel for the mature reader who looks to literature not for comfort or mere entertainment but for stimulation and recognition of life as we know it.
Bloomsbury ReviewThe writing here is seamless, concealing the craft behind it. Everything we don't care about has been left out, the array of lesser characters portrayed cleanly with a few brush strokes and concise dialogue.
ALA BooklistGrossman skillfully weaves her four characters' adventures and misadventures into an engrossing tapestry of contemporary lives.
- CALYX Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
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