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This beautiful literary novel has the bones of a thriller. From the
first line on I found myself clutching at the pages, as though to save
myself from what I knew was coming. Robin Black is simply a master (her
short story collection If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This is a huge staff favorite) and her writing deserves a wide, adoring audience. Don’t miss Life Drawing.
I am completely stunned by Black’s first novel. I have enjoyed a lot of books lately, but, until reading this, I did not realize how much I’ve been missing the whole body impact of a book. Beautiful writing, effortlessly pinpointed to emotion without being emotive, Black writes life itself, tackling marriage, grief, trust, art, inspiration, friendship, motherhood, all of it.— Melinda
“In their late 40s and childless, Owen and Augusta move to an isolated farm house to pursue their art -- he as a writer, she as a painter. When Alison, a divorcee escaping her own demons, unexpectedly moves in next door, the fault lines in all of their lives threaten to break open to reveal layer upon layer of grief, loss, and love. Black is a master storyteller. Her prose is distilled, and again and again she offers a phrase or a sentence that captures a whole life. An extraordinary novel.”
— Sheila Daley, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT
Praise for Life Drawing
“A brutal yet tender look at marriage and creative partnership that hums with thriller-like tension . . . It might be the nearest thing to a perfect novel that I have ever read.”—The Bookseller (UK)
“Life Drawing is a riveting story about the corrosive effects of betrayal, and a beautifully written meditation on the delicate balance of intimacy and isolation within a long marriage.”—Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
“Life Drawing is a magnificent literary achievement with a combination of wisdom and velocity that distinguishes it from any other novel I have read, an intimate revelation of love’s unlikely endurance and of art’s role in reviving and redeeming the past, and a heart-stopping, jaw-dropping thriller. I deeply loved Owen and Gus, and I was pulling for them from the first page to the last.”—Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
“Life Drawing is a rare and exquisitely wrought portrait of two people equally devoted to their marriage and their art, a couple striving to make sense of a dilemma in which fidelity, honesty, kindness, and betrayal all make claims. The prose is admirably exacting, tender, wise, and elegant—and the story left this reader’s heart aching.”—David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
“A wise, finely observed portrait of the workings of a marriage, as compelling as it is convincing . . . Life Drawing is intelligent, clear-eyed storytelling, exploring love and jealousy and the mistakes we make in their name.”—M. L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans
Praise for If I loved you, I would tell you this
“Pitch-perfect . . . so deft, so understated, and so compelling . . . Fans of Mary Gaitskill, Amy Bloom, and Miranda July will feel like they’ve found gold in a river when they discover Robin Black.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Each story reads like a mini-novel. . . . Worlds are contained in a single page. And the writing . . . oh, the writing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Powerful and touching . . . sparkling with poetic vision.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer