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Poet and novelist Rosner (The Speed of Light) has written an elegiac story of an emotionally and creatively starved artist and his muse. Danzig is 58, a German painter whose once promising career has stagnated into teaching life drawing classes at San Francisco's Art Institute. Then Merav appears, a lovely Israeli woman, also an artist, who models in his classroom. Merav struggles with instinctual distrust of Danzig: "The poses she took in the first session were all in the shape of fear: a woman turning away from something threatening; a body in flight; the curled-up shape of self-defense, protecting the heart, the belly." When Danzig asks Merav if she will model for him privately, she's reluctant, but their relationship evolves. The present diverges to the past, and Rosner develops her protagonists as though they are pieces of art, slowly becoming unveiled. Although their backgrounds are divergent--Danzig lived in fear of his father while Merav grew up in the safety of a kibbutz without one--their interior lives are similar. Rosner's multilayered composition is rendered in beautiful, spare prose and will resonate long after the last page.
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ISBN-10:  1439173087
ISBN-13:  978-1439173084
Author:  Elizabeth Rosner
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Gallery
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review by . September 16, 2010
I found myself completely engrossed in this novel. It's one of those books that you fly through because you can't put it down. Elizabeth is a writing genius!
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