Wednesday, May 02, 2018

What is Debra Dean reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Debra Dean, author of Hidden Tapestry: Jan Yoors, His Two Wives, and the War That Made Them One.

Her entry begins:
What is Debra Dean reading? At the moment, a lot of student’s stories. But I recently finished Dawn Davies’ memoir Mothers of Sparta. She was on the Megyn Kelly show talking about the title essay, a powerfully frank account of her son who is autistic and has some dangerous behaviors he can’t control. It’s a great essay but only one of several; the collection digs deep into a range of experiences. In one, she is a young woman unmoored by the motorcycle death of her boyfriend who, in comforting a dying stranger in the street, makes a rough peace with God. In another, she is pregnant (and not one of those pregnancies where you glow but an Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of pregnancy) and because her brain is no longer functioning well, she...[read on]
About Hidden Tapestry, from the publisher:
Hidden Tapestry reveals the unforgettable story of Flemish American artist Jan Yoors—childhood vagabond, wartime Resistance fighter, and polyamorous New York bohemian. At the peak of his fame in the 1970s, Yoors’s photographs and vast tapestries inspired a dedicated following in his adopted Manhattan. Though his intimate friends guessed the rough outline of his colorful life, Hidden Tapestry is first to detail his astonishing secrets.

At twelve, Jan’s life took an extraordinary and unexpected turn when, lured by stories of Gypsies, he wandered off with a group of Roma and continued to live on-and-off with them and with his own family for several years. As an adult in German-occupied France, Yoors joined the Resistance and persuaded his adoptive Roma family to fight alongside him. Defying repeated arrests and torture by the Gestapo, he worked first as a saboteur and later escorted Allied soldiers trapped behind German lines across the Pyrenees to freedom.

After the war, he married childhood friend Annabert van Wettum and embarked on his career as an artist. When a friend of Annabert’s, Marianne Citroen, modeled for Yoors, the two began an affair, which led the three to form a polyamorous unit that would last for the rest of their lives. Moving to New York, the trio became part of the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in the 1950s.

Told in arresting detail by Debra Dean, best-selling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad, Yoors’s story is a luminous and inspiring account of resilience, resourcefulness, and love.
Learn more about the book and author at Debra Dean's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Mirrored World.

Writers Read: Debra Dean.

--Marshal Zeringue