Sunday, May 08, 2011

What is Carol Wallace reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Carol Wallace, author of Leaving Van Gogh.

Her entry begins:
Like many committed readers, I’ve usually got several books going at once: different books for different moods.

There is always something soporific by my bed: that could be nonfiction but at the moment – and in the imaginable future – it is Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. I had previously attempted this in English, and got stuck because it is so very dense and slow. But somehow reading it in French is easier: there is always a certain sense of achievement in merely unraveling the sentences. At two pages per night, it will take me another 3 years to finish. I’m a substantial way through A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleur and the narrator has finally managed to meet Albertine. He is attempting to persuade himself that she is a worthy object of his affection because he has put so much effort into making her acquaintance, but even I can tell that she is...[read on]
Among the early praise for Leaving Van Gogh:
“A haunting novel of bold strokes and fine-grained gestures, one that resonates long after its last, luminous page. In Carol Wallace’s masterful hands Van Gogh’s pictures spring to life every bit as brilliantly as does the painter himself.”
—Stacy Schiff, author Cleopatra: A Life

“Carol Wallace’s Leaving Van Gogh is an act of wondrous ventriloquism not to be missed: the last months of Vincent Van Gogh’s life, narrated by the mysterious and marvelous Dr. Gachet, Van Gogh’s physician, and a tale of love, of madness, of art– and of genius and grief– told with the tender courage of a good friend.”
– Brenda Wineapple, author of White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson

“This sensitively written novel, with its many passages of deep beauty and insight, reveals the tragic Van Gogh as clearly as if he sat across your room. Told by the aging doctor who wants to rectify the one great failure of his own life by saving the distraught artist who perhaps does not wish to be saved, Leaving Van Gogh is a moving and profound book about the preciousness of the gifts of art and love and what we can mean to each other.”
—Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: a novel of Monet

“Beautifully textured, painterly, and insightful – reading this book is like stepping into one of Van Gogh’s paintings.”
—Rebecca Stott, author of Ghostwalk
Learn more about the book and author at Carol Wallace's website.

The Page 69 Test: Leaving Van Gogh.

Writers Read: Carol Wallace.

--Marshal Zeringue