Friday, March 03, 2017

What is Christina Baker Kline reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World.

Her entry begins:
Recent Read: Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

This novel is wide-ranging, fierce, and deep. The language sings; the magical-realist railroad is a spectacular fiction. The densely lyrical and poetic images, combined with concrete details, make the story leap off the page. I admire the discipline of Whitehead's restraint: in presenting slavery so matter-of-factly, he reveals the horrific impact of its devastation. I plan to re-read this novel — no doubt several times — to try to...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.

"Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden."

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.
Visit Christina Baker Kline's website.

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Writers Read: Christina Baker Kline.

--Marshal Zeringue