The Suicide of Claire Bishop

The Suicide of Claire Bishop

by Carmiel Banasky


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Greenwich Village, 1959. Claire Bishop sits for a portrait—a gift from her husband—only to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire’s suicide. Haunted by the painting, Claire is forced to redefine herself within a failing marriage and a family history of madness. Shifting ahead to 2004, we meet West, a young man with schizophrenia obsessed with a painting he encounters in a gallery: a mysterious image of a woman’s suicide. Convinced it was painted by his ex-girlfriend, West constructs an elaborate delusion involving time-travel, Hasidism, art-theft, and the terrifying power of representation. When the two characters finally meet, in the present, delusions are shattered and lives are forever changed.

The Suicide of Claire Bishop is a dazzling debut, evocative of Michael Cunningham's The Hours (and Virginia Woolf's classic Mrs. Dalloway), as well as Donna Tartt's bestseller The Goldfinch. With high stakes that reach across American history, Carmiel Banasky effortlessly juggles balls of madness, art theft, and Time itself, holding the reader in a thrall of language and personal consequences. Daring, sexy, emotional, The Suicide of Claire Bishop heralds Banasky as an important new talent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938103087
Publisher: Dzanc Books
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Carmiel Banasky is a writer and teacher from Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in such publications as Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Slice, and Guernica. Banasky earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she taught undergraduate creative writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, and other foundations.

Carol Monda is an Earphones Award-winning narrator and accomplished voice-over artist. She is also an award-winning actor known for her work in Out of Season, After You Left, and The Gentlemen.

Will Damron has won several Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has had acting roles off-Broadway and on stage and screen throughout the country.

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The Suicide of Claire Bishop 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited about this book but it was not worth the time.very dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carmiel Banasky has managed something extraordinary here. She moves with facility and deftness between narrators and points of view, navigating a plot that includes mystery, time-travel, death, art, love, sex, sexuality, mental illness, social upheaval and revolution, and binds them together with a tightness and virtuosity. A genuine tour-de-force-- don't miss this book!
Calder Yates More than 1 year ago
It's hard to say which element of the book I like better: the breathless verve with which Banasky evokes mid century NY, or how she shows the complexity and brittleness of one's cognitive hold on reality. Just goes to show how many great writers there are whose powerful work is on par with the other darlings of the literary world, and who don't need to position their work as some cheesy (and condescending) heroic struggle for the human condition (ahem Franzen). This work doesn't need the hype, it stands on its own: uniquely inventive, emotionally stirring. P.S. I actually like Franzen, most of the time.
Canon_Aspirin More than 1 year ago
One of the best books of 2015, hands down. Lyrical, poetic, and ambitious. Banasky manages to weave a complex tale that links a schizophrenic man in 2004 to the life of a woman haunted by a painting of her own suicide. Disappearing bees, art theft, alzheimers, madness. This book is wild and yet deftly controlled. By turns exciting and deeply moving.