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Suicide of Claire Bishop (Hardcover) (Carmiel Banasky)

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"My friend and former Hunter classmate, Sarah Eggers, wrote a poem years ago referencing an anecdote about Frida Kahlo that has never left me: Clare Boothe Luce, editor of Vanity Fare, commissioned Frida to paint a commemorative portrait of her close friend, Dorothy Hale, a Ziegfeld girl and struggling actress who had committed suicide. Frida took it upon herself to execute an "ex-voto" style painting, detailing Dorothy's jump from the sixteenth floor of a building by Central Park, from which she lands upon a stage. Needless to say, Boothe was offended and horrified and thought of destroying it. The painting disappeared for many years, until it was donated anonymously to the Phoenix Art Museum. (I've only recently learned the there are several blogs and film projects dedicated to "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale," uncovering the cynical mystery of her death. But that is another story.) The other theme of my novel--mental illness--stemmed from people close to me who had dealt with schizophrenia first-hand. There are so few novels that get close to this point of view, and even fewer in first-person. So, with their blessings and encouragement, I listened to their stories--from hallucinations to the alienation they felt around friends and family--and attempted to commit a version of their experiences to the page. I wrote this book so that I might understand them better, to enhance my own empathy, and to enter a voice into the literary dialogue that those with mental illness might recognize and that everyone elsemight relate to" --
Greenwich Village, 1959. Claire Bishop sits for a portraita gift from her husbandonly to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire?s suicide. Haunted by the painting, Claire is forced to redefine herself within a failing marriage and a family history of madness. Shifting ahead to 2004, we meet West, a young schizophrenic obsessed with a painting he encounters in a gallery: a mysterious image of a woman?s suicide. Convinced it was painted by his ex-girlfriend, West constructs an elaborate delusion involving time-travel, Hasidism, art-theft, and the terrifying power of representation. When the two characters finally meet, in the present, delusions are shattered and lives are forever changed.

The Suicide of Claire Bishop is a dazzling debut, evocative of Michael Cunningham'sThe Hours (and Virginia Woolf's classic Mrs. Dalloway), as well as Donna Tartt's bestsellerThe Goldfinch. With high stakes that reach across American history, Carmiel Banasky effortlessly juggles balls of madness, art theft, and Time itself, holding the reader in a thrall of language and personal consequences. Daring, sexy, emotional,The Suicide of Claire Bishop heralds Banasky as an important new talent.
Number of Pages: 386.0
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Suicide
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Pgw
Author: Carmiel Banasky
Language: English
Street Date: September 15, 2015
TCIN: 21530432
UPC: 9781938103087
Item Number (DPCI): 247-49-3673

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