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.
Another picture book favorite! Natsumi is very used to getting told by her family that she does things with too much vigor: she is too loud, or she is doing things too much, or too hard, or too wild… No one seems to see this as a strength, except for her grandfather, who guides her to a hobby that she was born for, where she can be as loud and as wild as she wants. Natsumi is a perfect story about how there is something perfect for each of us, and to stay true to yourself until you find that!
(Picture Book) - reviewed by Isabel