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Possessing a superior intellect that is nevertheless overshadowed by his physicist father's genius, Nathan Nelson fails to fulfill his father's definition of a child prodigy until a head injury enables him to manifest a photographic memory, with unexpected results. Reprint.
“Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, “The Last Painting” is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart. Vividly detailed, acutely sensitive to stratifications of gender and class, it’s fiction that keeps you up at night — first because you’re barreling through the book, then because you’ve slowed your pace to a crawl, savoring the suspense.” —Boston Globe A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice A RARE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING LINKS THREE LIVES, ON THREE CONTINENTS, OVER THREE CENTURIES IN THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS, AN EXHILARATING NEW NOVEL FROM DOMINIC SMITH. Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it. New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict. Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.
A brilliant novel that is at once a rollicking yarn and a beautiful love story, with an amazing cast of unforgettable characters and exotic settings - a feat of imagination and storytelling.
...beautifully written...A compelling psychological study, a thoughtful tracing of the birth of a new art form and an atmospheric portrait of 19th-century France: impressive on all three counts.' Kirkus When the vision came, he was in the bathtub. So begins the madness of Louis Daguerre. In 1847, after a decade of using poisonous mercury vapours to cure his daguerreotype images, his mind is plagued by delusions. Believing the world will end in a year, Daguerre creates his 'Doomsday List': ten items he must photograph before the final day. The list includes a portrait of Isobel Le Fournier, a woman he has always loved but not spoken to in half a century. In this luminous novel, Dominic Smith reinvents the life of one of photography's founding fathers. Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects. Louis enlists the help of the womanising poet Charles Baudelaire, and a jaded and beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orleans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.
The Bird and The Elephant is a poetic philosophical journey that starts with a chance encounter between and a bird and (that’s right, you guessed it!) an elephant. Join their journey as they step through the jungle talking their way through ten philosophical subjects.
One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen’ s most defiant and uninhibited work. As imagined by Cohen, hell is an apartment in Montreal, where a bereaved and lust-tormented narrator reconstructs his relations with the dead. In that hell two men and a woman twine impossibly and betray one another again and again. Memory blurs into blasphemous sexual fantasy--and redemption takes the form of an Iroquois saint and virgin who has been dead for 300 years but still has the power to save even the most degraded of her suitors. First published in 1966, Beautiful Losers demonstrates that its author is not only a superb songwriter but also a novelist of visionary power. Funny, harrowing, and fiercely moving, it is a classic erotic tragedy, incandescent in its prose and exhilarating for its risky union of sexuality and faith.
The author of the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles brilliantly captures the coming-of-age hopes and yearnings of an adolescent English girl during World War I The fourth child born to a struggling musician and a mother who’s an incurable romantic, Lavinia lives an unremarkable existence. But a visit to a sprawling country estate transforms her world and becomes the touchstone for the rest of her life. Lavinia is sixteen when she’s invited to a house party given by distant acquaintances. It’s her first trip away from home, and she’s instantly mesmerized by her beautiful and lush new surroundings. Days are filled with delectable meals and skating and riding lessons; nights with parties and dancing. Lavinia adores her hosts, Lucy and Gerald Lancing, and their boisterous extended family—and the mysterious, conceited Rupert Laing, with whom she shares her first kiss. But the visit can’t last forever. Soon after she returns home, the First World War breaks out. As Lavinia matures, and other people pass through her life—including Ian Graham, the soldier who loves her yet doesn’t expect her love in return—she continues to view things through the prism of that unforgettable Christmas with the Lancings. Elizabeth Jane Howard’s debut novel about a young girl’s spiritual and emotional awakening, the painful pride of youth, and female emancipation, The Beautiful Visit is a moving montage of English life at the beginning of the last century.
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