Recommended by ... | Arts Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Recommended by ... 

Brenda Jernigan recommends Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, by Harriet Scott Chessman (Seven Stories Press, 144 pp., $24)

I sit amid the presents that are not wrapped, the tree that is not decorated, and the children who are looking askance at the stove where no supper cooks. The overwrought world of Christmas present is suspended--I've opened Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, a novel of sisters, art and illness. The author, Harriet Scott Chessman, unwraps the world of the Cassatt sisters for us through the voice of Lydia, older sister and model for Mary Cassatt, a 19th-century artist who was the only American to exhibit with the French Impressionists. Through lyrical prose, we are immersed in Paris and the French countryside of the 1880s, glimpsing the lives of the two sisters as Mary paints, Lydia poses, and Degas visits. We go on picnics, eat Camembert, and lounge in Mary's studio. In this exquisitely imagined world that I hold in my hand, the exploration of five paintings is intertwined with the story of Lydia's failing health and how Mary's art will remember her sister. A short book of just 161 pages, I consume it and move back to the world of holiday presents and hungry children, but not without a greater understanding of the textured canvas of life and the light that plays through it. EndBlock

Brenda Jernigan is the author of the novel Every Good and Perfect Gift. She lives in Raleigh.

  • "Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper," by Harriet Scott Chessman

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

What a beautifully written article. Great writer!

by Kathy Lestelle on Panorama Captures Life in Our State Through a Lens of Intimate Reality, Not Drive-By Nostalgia (Arts Feature)

Sarah is just plain fucking cool. Her music, her actions. Keep it up and play more Disarmers shows in Raleigh!

by Remo on Sarah Shook and Erika Libero Mark Progressive Territory With Rainbow Decals and Amplify Women’s Voices (Arts Feature)

The quotes from the artists read like the vapid gobblygook newspeak of a freshly graduated business consultant. One who, without …

by ProudlyAfilliated on Durham Artists Movement Is a Safe Space and a Strong Voice for Artists Who Need It Most (Arts Feature)

There is a long list of benefits that can come out of a successful viral marketing campaign for your business. …

by Ryan Silver on A tale of two memes: The Triangle backstories of a pair of recent viral video sensations (Arts Feature)

Comments

What a beautifully written article. Great writer!

by Kathy Lestelle on Panorama Captures Life in Our State Through a Lens of Intimate Reality, Not Drive-By Nostalgia (Arts Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation