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The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Hardcover)
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.
About the Author
Carmiel Banasky is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and NPR, among other places. She earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College, where she taught Undergraduate Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and others foundations.
Put simply, this is a love story to words; words said and unsaid, written and lost, found and loved. Told from two perspectives with a scattering of letters thrown in between, the story follows Rachel and Henry as they learn to grieve, to let go, and to find themselves. Anyone who has ever loved a book can understand the catalyst that simple words can have on these characters. - Jessica