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Lion and Leopard

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0989312516
ISBN-10: 0989312518
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For love of sketchbook, observation, and pictorial inspiration, as if the whole of history and time depended on it, Nathaniel Popkin's Lion and Leopard entangles classical and romantic ideologies in a struggle to commence a truly American artistic vision." -Michelle Grabner, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

"Nathaniel Popkin was born, it seems, with a preternatural talent for turning back the hands of time. Here, in this teeming novel about idealists, romanticists, schemers, and raconteurs, Popkin takes readers through the fields and down the streets of a roiling Philadelphia. The snow falls and drifts. The skies bruise. The vendors tattle. The artists sulk. Many opine, but who will listen? Radical in its form, glorious in its details, LION AND LEOPARD is

Philadelphia-then." -Beth Kephart, author of FLOW: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, and Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir

"Nathaniel Popkin has pulled off one of the rarest of literary feats in LION AND LEOPARD: he has brought his story to vivid, compassionate life." -Jay Kirk, author of Kingdom of Glass

"In Lion and Leopard, three young friends travel to Philadelphia on a quest to interview the best artists in America for a book. Along the way, they find themselves caught in a tangle of alliances and rivalries, witnesses to the tensions between the American art establishment and a new way of making art." -Penn Gazette

"Lion and Leopard is historical literary fiction at its most engaging, a stirring love song to early Philadelphia. More than that, Nathaniel Popkin's novel rings with arguments about the purpose of artistic endeavor that provoke us to this day. This is an important, auspicious debut."-Ken Kalfus, author of A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, National Book Award nominee

"Any history of visual art in America should include a review of Nathaniel Popkin's Lion and Leopard, a fictionalized account of early-American painters that illuminates brilliantly how building a culture is so much more than building a country." -Foreword Review

"The book might sound rather heady, and it is. But for those interested in Philadelphia history, it's also a lot of fun." -Philadelphia Magazine

"Nathaniel Popkin's new book, Lion and Leopard merges history and fiction in a novel that reads like a 19th Century road trip." -The Art Blog

"Popkin weaves a multileveled tale that is as much a treatise on art at a historical crossroads as it is a story of young artists making their way in the world." -Library Journal

About the Author

Nathaniel Popkin is an author, editor, film writer, architecture and literary critic, journalist, and historian. Since the 2002 publication of his first book, Song of the City: An Intimate History of the American Urban Landscape, (Four Walls, Eight Windows-Basic Books), and continuing into his role as co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and writer of the film series "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," he has been a distinctive voice in the conversation about cities: past, present and future. LION AND LEOPARD (The Head and The Hand Press, 2013) is his third book and first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The Head & The Hand Press (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989312518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989312516
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,430,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A wild romp through history - both real and imagined - that deposits the reader into the minds of known and unknown artists on the streets of early 19th century Philadelphia. Not a book for the beach. Popkin asks much of the reader, but you work will be rewarded. Before you know it, you'll have a pile of books at your side, studying the long lost streetscapes he describes as well as paintings most of which can still be seen in person. The voice of the characters is quite contemporary, which I found quite odd at first, but grew on me, as it allowed me to enter this world more easily. A book I know I'll be reading again!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One wonders which part of this book is fiction as the novel's people, places and paintings all existed. You can look them up as you read and the story is enriched to no end. Fascinating for lovers of art and Philadelphia history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. a powerful glimpses of a time and characters rarely written about, the names and personalities that have skipped the pages of our history textbooks, but have played a lively and critical role in the story of American culture. Worth reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't you sometimes wish that someone would write fiction about early America who actually understood the place, deeply? Anyway, I wish that.... and then you discover Nathaniel Popkin. A beautiful writer. A serious historian. Everything comes together....
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