From Michelangelo to Jackson Pollock—ever feel like the art world is just a little too, well, male? These nine books explore the perils of creative ambition, sources of inspiration, and the perpetual challenge of creating compelling work that speaks to the world and stands the test of time. And they all feature women—as either a protagonist or an author. Pick up one of these books and put the spotlight back on the ladies.
Read the full review of THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS.
The Woman Upstairs is a masterly portrait of Nora Eldridge, a thirty-seven-year-old elementary school teacher on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, The Woman Upstairs is an urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment that explores the thrill—and the devastating cost—of being a woman in America today.
Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a haven—and heaven—for artists and writers looking to make it big. Among them is James Bennett, an art critic for The New York Times who has synesthesia, a condition that enables him to see and describe things in incredible ways. When he meets Raul Englaes, an exiled Argentinian painter, both of their lives change.
Read the full review of TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME.
In this tender coming-of-age story, June Elbus is fourteen years old and grieving the loss of her uncle Finn, a renowned painter with whom she shared a special bond. Though her mother refuses to speak about the mysterious illness that Finn suffered from, his death brings a new friend into June’s life: one whom she must keep secret, but will ultimately help her heal.
Full of dead-on wit and relentlessly funny, this tour de force confirms Zadie Smith’s reputation as a major literary talent. Smith notes that she “has taken Howards End, that marvelous tale of class difference, and upped the ante by adding race, politics, and gender.”
After he was commissioned to design a new house for her and her husband in 1903, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney embarked on an affair that shocked Chicago society. While scholars have largely relegated her to a footnote in Wright’s life, this novel brilliantly weaves together fact and fiction to illuminate Mamah’s profound influence on America’s greatest architect.