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The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas Paperback – March 1, 2017
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Advance praise for The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas
"Harriet Scott Chessman has once again invented an utterly beguiling story inspired by art. This time, in her novel inspired by a Degas sketchbook that may have once existed, she has given us a richly evocative and emotionally true portrait of Edgar Degas during his 1872 visit among his Creole cousins in New Orleans. With the clarity and simplicity of a piano sonata, The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas is a novel about perception, enduring love, and the complex family legacy of a great artist." ― Katharine Weber, author of The Music Lesson
"A beautiful meditation on the interplay of art, time, and memory, that is itself a luminous portrait of a woman without vision who is just beginning to see." ― Ann Packer, author of The Children's Crusade and Swim Back to Me
"In this mesmerizing novel, Harriet Chessman gives us intimate glimpses of a celebrated artist’s eloquently human landscape, saturated with the dense complexities of family life in 19th century New Orleans. This nuanced story of love lost and found, wrapped around the experience of seeing and being seen, is itself a masterful work of art." ― Elizabeth Rosner, author of Electric City and Gravity
"The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas reveals what we see, what we refuse to see, and how beautiful and sad love is either way. Chessman brings us 19th-century New Orleans on one monumental day in which the discovery of a sketchbook leads to the reevaluation of a whole life. This novel is a profound delight from beginning to end." ― Micah Perks, author of What Becomes Us and Pagan Time
“I read The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas with deep admiration for Chessman’s empathetic powers. She inhabits this sumptuous world of New Orleans with grace and a kind of heightened sensual alertness, a mystery that unravels level by level as Tell, a fetching character, comes through the oblique sketchbook of her gifted cousin to an awareness of herself, her world, her family – a reality that has become ‘simply history’ in the best way: imaginatively conceived and assimilated. This is a lovely novel that I would recommend to anyone.” ― Jay Parini, author of The Last Station
Praise for Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman
"Laying down each sentence with exquisite delicacy, Harriet Chessman makes palpable the fragility and futility of desire in the face of the monster, mortality. For me, it achieves the sublime." - Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue
"Beautifully captures the rich relationship between model and painter and between sisters." - Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring
"Entrancing . . . heartbreaking . . . Makes [itself] felt long after one has finished the book." - New York Newsday
"Harriet Scott Chessman's story . . . adds to our understanding of these paintings and to our understanding of the painter's life. One feels the author's magnifying glass over their lives, with its genteel distortions and the enormous eye of the writer."- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Chessman, like Lydia [Cassatt], has allowed herself to inhabit another's world with grace and humility." - San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Harriet Scott Chessman is the author of the acclaimed novels THE BEAUTY OF ORDINARY THINGS (2013), SOMEONE NOT REALLY HER MOTHER (a 2004 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book, and a Good Morning America Book Club Choice), LYDIA CASSATT READING THE MORNING PAPER (1999), and OHIO ANGELS (1999). She is also the author of the libretto for MY LAI, a contemporary operatic piece commissioned by Kronos Quartet in 2015. She has taught literature and creative writing at Yale University, Bread Loaf School of English, and Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program.
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