The Art Lover

( 1 )

Overview

While her father and best friend are dying, a young American woman tries to find the limits of love and the power of art in the face of the inevitable.

What is the power of art in the face of death? In The Art Lover Carole Maso has created an elegant and moving narrative about a woman experiencing (and reliving) the most painful transitions of her life. Caroline, the novel's protagonist, returns to New York after the death of her ...
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Overview

While her father and best friend are dying, a young American woman tries to find the limits of love and the power of art in the face of the inevitable.

What is the power of art in the face of death? In The Art Lover Carole Maso has created an elegant and moving narrative about a woman experiencing (and reliving) the most painful transitions of her life. Caroline, the novel's protagonist, returns to New York after the death of her father—ostensibly to wrap things up and take care of necessary "business"—where her memory and imagination conspire to lay before her all her griefs and joys in a rebellious progression. In different voices, employing a collage-like fragmentation, Maso gently unfolds The Art Lover in much the same way the fragile and prehistoric fiddlehead fern unfolds throughout the novel, bringing with subtle grace the ever-entangled feelings of grief and love into full and tender view. Various illustrations throughout.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Caroline, a novelist and poet, returns from an isolated artists colony to Manhattan, where her widowed, art-historian father has recently died. As one strand of the narrative follows her rediscovery of the city--and of a friend diagnosed with AIDS--another follows the characters she creates in her prose; interspersed throughout are reproductions of pictures and newspaper clippings that inspire her. This narrative cord ruptures with the introduction of ``Carole,'' the persona of Maso, and descriptions of herself at work on the novel while her own beloved friend is dying, Carole/the writer's art incapable of saving him. Despite its trendy structure and themes, this work is steered by anything but a narcissistic postmodernism. Maso Ghost Dance is not content to muse on the relationship between life and art; she brings to life a ``bombardment of images and sounds,'' fashioning a pattern of astonishing complexity and beauty. The tough-mindedness, originality and wit of her perceptions are intoxicating. May
Library Journal
This nontraditional novel presents an experimental face to the reader: illustrations, newspaper clips, and art reproductions are interspersed with a story line buried within a story--perhaps within yet another story. The narrator, a novelist, has moved back to New York to settle her father's estate he was an art historian. She struggles with her grief and guilt at her father's death and stands by a childhood friend who is dying of AIDS. She begins another novel: by giving the conflicts in her life a fictional context, she tries to bring order and beauty--and some degree of understanding--out of chaos. Interesting reading for those with a literary bent.-- Linda L. Rome, Mentor, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811216296
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Series: New Directions Paperbook Series , #1040
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 434,386
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Experimental writer par excellence, Carole Maso is the author of the novels Ghost Dance, AVA, Aureole, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat, and Defiance, as well as the non-fiction books Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing & Moments of Desire, The Room Lit by Roses: A Journal of Pregnancy and Birth, and Beauty is Convulsive: The Passion of Frida Kahlo. Maso has received many awards, including a Lannan Literary Fellowship for fiction. She is a Professor of English at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2000

    Now I See Perfectly

    Maso spends no time with sentimentality. Her writing is direct and takes you on a journey from today's world into the pain of past memories, thoughts of her own mother and how she is becoming much like her. For all of us facing that time where we look in the mirror and say to ourselves, where did we come from and why am I here now, we get an appreciation of how these questions face us all. They link us together in humanity.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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