Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pg. 99: Janet Fitch's "Paint It Black"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Janet Fitch's Paint It Black.

About the book, from the publisher:
Josie Tyrell, art model and denizen of LA's rock scene, finds a chance at real love with art student Michael Faraday. A Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist, Michael introduces Josie to his spiritual quest and a world of sophistication she had never dreamed existed. But when she is called to identify her lover's dead body, Josie's bright dreams all turn to black.

As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and hold onto the true world he shared with her, she finds herself both repelled by and attracted to his pianist mother, Meredith, who holds Josie responsible for her son's torment. Soon, the two women find themselves drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need.
Among the praise for the novel:

"With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch's spellbinding new novel is ultimately a "rewarding story of power and grace."
People, four-star review

"A page-turning psychodrama.... Fitch's prose penetrates the inner lives of [her characters] with immediacy and bite."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day."
USA Today

"In dysfunctional family narratives, Fitch is to fiction what Eugene O'Neill is to drama."
Chicago Sun-Times

"Riveting.... An uncommonly accomplished page-turner."

"Though I loved White Oleander, author Fitch’s first and celebrated novel, nothing prepared my for the gritty yet delicate reality of Paint it Black. A period piece, Paint it Black takes place at the edges of the art and music world in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Fitch has the details right: the clothing, the attitude, the buckets of carefully concealed angst. More than local detail, however, Fitch nails the humanity -- and sometimes the inhumanity -- of a carefully described and created cast of characters. Duplicitous Michael -- already dead as the book begins and who we meet in flashback -- his mother, the spider-like Meredith and our heroine, the teenage runaway Josie Tyrell, the girl Michael’s suicide left behind."
Linda L. Richards, January Magazine
Read an excerpt from Paint It Black and learn more about the book and its author at the publisher's website and the Paint It Black MySpace page.

Janet Fitch is also the author of White Oleander.

The Page 99 Test: Paint It Black.

--Marshal Zeringue