Monday, August 26, 2013

What is Tracy Guzeman reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds.

Her entry begins:
After working on a long project (first novel) and starting another (second novel), I’m drawn to the crisp borders of the short story. Right now I’m reading Andrea Barrett’s new collection, Archangel, and Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat and Other Stories. I am an ardent Andrea Barrett fan; I confess to semi-stalking her at a writing conference where my efforts were rewarded when I found myself standing in back of her in the coffee line. In both her novels and story collections, her characters are people I’m fascinated by: individuals with a passion for defining the unknown and explaining the unfathomable, by setting ablaze the precise boundaries of science and illuminating its cold, dark corners. Science writers, x-ray technicians, geneticists… what happens when their elegant theorems are transmogrified into messy human behavior? I can never wait to...[read on]
About The Gravity of Birds, from the publisher:
How do you find someone who wants to be lost?

Sisters Natalie and Alice Kessler were close, until adolescence wrenched them apart. Natalie is headstrong, manipulative—and beautiful; Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds. During their family’s summer holiday at the lake, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber, in whom she finds a kindred spirit. Natalie, however, remains strangely unmoved, sitting for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.

Decades later, Bayber, now a reclusive, world-renowned artist, unveils a never-before-seen work, Kessler Sisters—a provocative painting depicting the young Thomas, Natalie, and Alice. Bayber asks Dennis Finch, an art history professor, and Stephen Jameson, an eccentric young art authenticator, to sell the painting for him. That task becomes more complicated when the artist requires that they first locate Natalie and Alice, who seem to have vanished. And Finch finds himself wondering why Thomas is suddenly so intent on resurrecting the past.

In The Gravity of Birds histories and memories refuse to stay buried; in the end only the excavation of the past will enable its survivors to love again.
Learn more about the book and author at Tracy Guzeman's website and blog.

Writers Read: Tracy Guzeman.

--Marshal Zeringue