A desert nomad struggles at the close of the ancient world to inscribe himself into life, and centuries later a Renaissance artist attempts to overcome his lowly origins by painting nobility. Throughout Steve Tomasula's arresting tour de force, human beings seek to become what they are by representing it. An early twentieth-century psychoanalyst in search of a cure for sexual neurosis discovers the reflection of his own yearning in a female client, and an accidental community of twenty-first century image-makers connects the pixels to bring their group portrait into focus.Across a canvas that spans centuries, the several narrators of this novel look through the lens of their own time and portray objects of desire in paint, dreams, photography, electronic data, and genetic code. Together their portraits comprise a collage of styles and habits of mind. The Book of Portraiture is a novel about the irrepressible impulse to picture ourselves, and how, through this picturing, we continually re-create what it means to be human.
|Publisher:||University of Alabama Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Steve Tomasula is the author of the acclaimed novels IN & OZ (Ministry of Whimsy) and VAS: An Opera in Flatland. Among the venues where his short fiction has appeared are McSweeney's and The Iowa Review, where he received the distinguished Iowa Prize. His writings on body art and culture have appeared in Leonardo and numerous arts journals.