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For those of you who check in on me from time to time, you know I sometimes write up books I’ve been reading, sometimes not. Today I’m starting a biography, something I’m not usually drawn to, but I’m giving it a shot. It was once suggested that I read artists’ biographies, that it would help and inspire me in my art. I’d picked this up at the annual library book sale – the biography of Impressionist Berthe Morisot by Anne Higonnet.

Morisot was the only woman among the six Impressionists whose exhibition scandalized Paris in 1874. The biography tells about what Morisot had to overcome to be recognized as a talented artist at this time in history and her accomplishments. This being my favorite period of art, I look forward to reading about Berthe Morisot’s life.

Prior to this, in addition to Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen, I’ve read novels by two of my favorite authors who did not disappoint – Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver – and I just finished Witches on the Road Tonight by new-to-me author, Sheri Holman. I never fail to be impressed by the writing of Hoffman and Kingsolver … in plot and character, always, but in the amazing richness of their language, especially so. I was equally impressed by the writing of Sheri Holman, and will most defnitely look for books by her again. I am simply in awe of how some writers can turn a phrase.

“The hearse’s headlights rasp the dark as they speed along an unfamiliar road scattering rabbits and turning the night-grazing deer to statuary. The windows are down, the radio off. They pass empty fields and glassy obsidian ponds that float upon the gauze of reflected clouds, repeating pearls of moon. They ride for miles in this hushed, rolling darkness …” ¬†from Witches on the Road Tonight.

Something that made me scratch my head as I read Witches on the Road Tonight is what are chances that I would read two novels, with only one book between them, that both feature characters “hunting sang”in the Appalachian mountains? The phrase refers to people who are searching the area to find ginseng, (“sang”), which can be quite profitable to sell. It actually featured prominently in parts of both novels … go figure!

So Berthe … here’s hoping your story is as compelling as your magnificent art!

 

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