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In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper Hardcover – December 6, 2016
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"Superbly conceived and executed. With stunning imagination, narrative power and arresting prose, each story succeeds individually and contributes to the overarching excellence of Block’s anthology. A unique collection that blends art as literature and literature as art, In Sunlight or in Shadow also explores the origins of inspiration and showcases the brilliance that flows from the fertile psyches of the talented." ― Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Absolutely superb. A fascinating concept. Every story is superlative. Hopper deserves a tribute of this grace and sensitivity." ― USA Today (4 out of 4 stars)
"Block has assembled a superb and very varied group of writers to spin their own golden thread from Hopper's raw flax. It's a sumptuous production in beautiful hardback." ― Belfast Telegraph
"Edward Hopper, the painter of American loneliness, inspires a selection of short stories from a host of notable writers. This strong collection begins in a spirit of homage but winds up showing how powerful inspiration can be." ― Kirkus Reviews
"Iconic American painter Edward Hopper serves as muse for editor Block and an impressive array of 16 other writers who select their favorite paintings to inspire a short story. A remarkable collection." ― Publishers Weekly
"For anyone who has puzzled over the vividly evocative—yet frustratingly enigmatic—works of the beloved Edward Hopper, this little volume is the perfect gift. Short stories by 17 writers—some famous, like Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, some less so—dramatically start where the paintings leave off." ― San Francisco Chronicle
"A great idea and a strong collection. This book is a must for Edward Hopper fans, and anyone interested in the intersection of visual art and fiction." ― Crime Fiction Lover
"Block invited fellow mystery writers and other literary luminaries to pick a Hopper painting and write a story inspired by it. The 17 results are searing and ensnaring, clever, erotic, and disquieting tales of anger and subterfuge, desperation and revenge. A lushly illustrated, darkly alluring, deliciously unnerving union of art and story." ― Booklist (starred)
"One of the most varied and yet rewarding story anthologies to appear in a long time. Belongs on the top of the reading pile of every crime, mystery, and horror fiction fan." ― Bookgasm
"An anthology of conspicuous brilliance. A grand, masterly anthology." ― Buffalo News
"Without doubt, Alfred Hitchcock would be pleased. Hopper and Block, master mesmerists." ― The Virginian-Pilot
"Block asked 17 writers to write a story generated by Hopper paintings. The combined effect is ingenious, engrossing, and at times deliciously menacing." ― Cleveland Plain Dealer
About the Author
- Publisher : Pegasus Crime; 1st edition (December 6, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1681772450
- ISBN-13 : 978-1681772455
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #494,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I thought all the stories were excellent, but several stick out because they were as plainly written as Hopper plainly painted. One of the best was by Gail Levin, author of several bios of Hopper and curator of collections of Hopper's who writes in the voice of "Gail Levin" and describes a Baptist minister who was the religious councilor to Edward Hopper, his wife, and his sister in their last years. He used his influence - and not so "religiously" - to raid the estate after the death of the three Hoppers. Even though several stories mention Hopper, Levin's is the only one that uses the man and his life as the basis of a fictional story. Among the other splendid stories were those by Stephen King, who describes the use of a music room and the two people currently occupying it who are waiting...for something you might not want to know.
The only stories I didn't care for - not because they weren't well written - were the few that told complicated stories. Hopper's paintings are so simple that the best stories were those that mimicked that spareness in writing. Now, I'm not sure if all readers would feel that way, but I think most readers will appreciate the brilliant juxtaposition of the art work and the stories.
The very best stories (well, my favorites anyway) are by Nicholas Christopher, Jill Block, Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Lansdale, Warren Moore and Mr. Block himself. There's hardly a clunker in the bunch and it's just fun to see what each of these artists is able to create from Hopper's work.
My true confession is that I may have previously confused Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer. I'm pretty sure I've got them straight now.
Obvious themes include new york, edward hoppers paintings, and art in general. Another theme that connects the better stories is Alienation. I think Hoppers art suggests alienation and the way it wears on the psyche and the best stories capture that element. Alongside the alienation are complex relationships that sometimed happen with alienation, or in contrasting it.
Overall, the stories were quiet, thought provoking tone pieces. There was a touch of noir, though i believe that has more to do with Lawrence Blocks circle of preferred authors than Hoppers impact.
Favorite stories : the projectionist and the girl in the window.
As an anthology, I'd give this high marks even without the connection to Edward Hopper, but the paintings are really magnificent. I read the Kindle version, and they are stunning. I was able to enlarge them and examine them in ways you can't do in a crowded museum. I'd now like to add the hardcover version to my permanent library.
Highly recommended for short story fans, mystery lovers, Hopper appreciators, and everyone in between.