The Matisse Stories

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Overview

This elegant, beautifully illustrated edition contains three stories, each touched in a different way by the paintings of Henri Matisse. Their subjects' lives unravel from simple beginnings - a trip to the hairdresser, a cleaning woman's passion for knitting, lunch in a Chinese restaurant - but gradually the veneer of ordinariness is peeled back to expose pain, reveal desire, or express the intensity of joy in color and creation.

Already a bestseller in England and ...

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The Matisse Stories

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Overview

This elegant, beautifully illustrated edition contains three stories, each touched in a different way by the paintings of Henri Matisse. Their subjects' lives unravel from simple beginnings - a trip to the hairdresser, a cleaning woman's passion for knitting, lunch in a Chinese restaurant - but gradually the veneer of ordinariness is peeled back to expose pain, reveal desire, or express the intensity of joy in color and creation.

Already a bestseller in England and Canada, this elegant, beautifully illustrated volume by the bestselling author of Possession and Angels and Insects contains three tales displaying the subtle riches of Byatt's writing in a perfect frame--each touched in a different way by the paintings of Henri Matisse. Line drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

Bruce Bawer
For all their thematic elaboration, Ms. Byatt's stories in "The Matisse Stories" do not feel contrived or didactic. On the contrary, her characters are credible, their encounters authentically complex, their environments vividly delineated. Indeed, these stories are unusually painterly in their particulars of form, color and shadow....These stories are all about human beings: about how little we can know (or may care to know) about the people with whom we spend our lives, and how tragic the results of that ignorance (or indifference) can be. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three stories from Byatt, in each of which a woman's life is touched in some way by the paintings of Henri Matisse. (May)
Library Journal
A best seller in England, where it was published in 1993, this beautifully illustrated volume contains three stories-each a sort of "still life" inspired by a particular Matisse painting-of seemingly ordinary women: a middle-aged teacher forced to play psychiatrist to her self-centered hairdresser; a cleaning woman with a passion for knitting; and a college dean discussing a case of sexual harassment with the accused over lunch in a Chinese restaurant. Byatt (Possession, LJ 11/1/90), who has been in the news lately for her principled stand against huge advances for literary fiction, is a consummate prose stylist, possessed of both perfect pitch for dialog and a painterly eye for the telling details that flesh out these characters and reveal their essential humanness. Highly recommended for fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/94.]-David Sowd, formerly with Stark Cty. District Lib., Canton, Ohio
From the Publisher
"Full of delight and humor...The Matisse Stories is studded with brilliantly apt images and a fine sense for subtleties of conversation and emotion." —San Francisco Chronicle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679762232
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 700,637
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

A. S. Byatt is famed for her short fiction, collected in Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Her full-length novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession and the trilogy sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower.

Biography

A. S. Byatt, author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession, is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Her most recent fiction outside this tetralogy is The Biographer's Tale, a novel, and Elementals, a collection of short stories. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Antonia Susan Drabble Byatt (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      London, England; France
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sheffield, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College

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