What if the muse, aka the goddess of art, was male?
The God of My Art paints a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Years after running away from home, gifted Helene must wrestle with her childhood if she wants to discover her true calling. She finds a muse in philosophical Matthew, who makes her past feel so far away.... but is it?
Matthew dreams of escaping the mundane by becoming a humanitarian worker in a war zone, but for now he is fond of quoting Nietzsche when he's not off climbing mountains. As Helene's growing infatuation with him unfolds, so does the true nature of her hero worship.
Bold and poetic, The God of My Art explores unrequited love as the source of inspiration for art.
Praise for The God of My Art:
"Sarah Lane's debut novel is an ambitious exploration of how an artist is born and - perhaps more importantly - how she chooses to follow that path as an adult. Lane's prose style is superb; there is a great deal of keen observation, strong dialogue, and interesting ruminations from a heroine coming of age after a difficult childhood." -Sandra Hutchison, author of The Awful Mess: A Love Story
"This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The plot and character development was brilliant and the writing was exquisite, hard when it needed to be and gentle when required, too. The author never took a wrong turn anywhere. I didn't know where the story was going and I didn't care. I was just so caught up in it." -Martin Crosbie, author of My Temporary Life
"Really takes off during a high and naked moment in a self-made steam hut in the woods." -Publisher's Weekly
"Many authors succeed in capitalizing on vibrant cities to set their novels, but Sarah Lane's beautiful and simple prose takes this a magical step further. The God of My Art is far more than a collage of Vancouver beaches, streets and towering mountains. The novel's strength lies in the dichotomy of the "chosen" and "outliers"--the pampered heirs to Shaughnessy fortunes and the soon-to-disappear women of Hastings Street back alleys. Like art, Lane's prose reveals its deepest secrets not in the rays of light, but in the shadows." -New Perspectives on Canadian Literature
"Be warned: Lane's prose has a tendency to gently lure you into reading the book in one sitting." -The Ubyssey
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.51(d)|
About the Author
She has travelled the globe, from Cameroon to Costa Rica to Scotland to Spain. She wrote her first novel while living in France. Now a mom to two young children, she has put down tentative roots in Vancouver, where she's working on a new book: a psychological thriller about a doppelgänger and the madness of salsa dancing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The God of My Art is a memorable novel. It is definitely the best I have read so far this year. The main character Helene is telling the story, which mostly centers on the question of whether or not she should be, or even has the ability to be, an artist. The book is divided into three parts, Red, Blue, and Yellow. Helene, the narrator and protagonist, begins with the story of a meaningless short little affair that has somehow changed her life (Red). The story then draws us deep into the disturbing self-doubt and incessant questions of a depressed young woman (Blue), and then leaves us with revelations, future and past, about the main character as well as the meaning of it all (Yellow). I particularly liked the philosophical aspects of this novel and the larger questions posed. This is a book that I stumbled upon online and I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommended.
Many authors succeed in capitalizing on vibrant cities to set their novels, but Sarah Lane’s beautiful and simple prose takes this a magical step further. The God of My Art is far more than a collage of Vancouver beaches, streets and towering mountains. The novel’s strength lies in the dichotomy of the “chosen” and “outliers”—the pampered heirs to Shaughnessy fortunes and the soon-to-disappear women of Hastings Street back alleys. Like art, Lane’s prose reveals its deepest secrets not in the rays of light, but in the shadows. The protagonist in Lane’s novel, Helene, is conflicted between her desire for security and the impulses driving her to abandon her “safe” studies in Commerce and be an artist. Helene, now 21, has survived the early death of her French father, her mother Katie’s descent into alcoholism, and the obsessive-compulsive nature of her stepfather Lyle. When at 15 she rebels against Lyle, he convinces her mother to put Helene in a group home in Prince George. She flees the group home and hitchhikes to Vancouver to live on the streets until her friend Christine takes her in and gets her back into school and then to university on a scholarship. There she easily falls for Matthew, a narcissistic young man, who quotes Nietzsche when he’s not off climbing mountains. But when Matthew leaves to join his girlfriend Yoriko in Japan, Helene is left more confused and insecure than before. Encouraged by her friends, Hana and Laurent, Helene gradually regains confidence and dares to think again about pursuing a career in art. While the plot of The God of My Art is not particularly complex, the character development, especially of Helene and her mother Katie, really pulls the novel together. What starts off as a possible essay in self-obsession ends in a strong bond between the reader and Helene, and a fascination for mother Katie with her crushed dreams and trailer-camp existence. Lane’s fiction is not for everyone. Indeed, the storyline of The Art of My God at times skirts puerile reactions to the pitfalls of life. It is the prose that makes this author stand out—each sentence meticulously interlocked with the next. The spice of a philosophical musing at just the right spot. Dialogue that is both realistic and revealing of repressed desires and memories. However, while The God of My Art has definitely set Lane off in the right direction as an author, it is just an appetizer—for the best is assuredly yet to come. Reviewed by Ian Shaw