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The Underpainter

Urquhart, Jane

2,129 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 0670877263 / ISBN 13: 9780670877263
Published by Viking Penguin, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1997
Used Condition: Fine Hard Cover
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FINE/FINE unread copy protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000746

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Underpainter

Publisher: Viking Penguin, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A masterful novel by the highly praised author of Away, The Underpainter tells the story of a 75-year-old American minimalist painter who creates a new series of paintings as he remembers the details of his life and of the lives of those individuals who have affected him.

Review:

Jane Urquhart's The Underpainter is a very modern novel preoccupied with the power of the past. Austin Fraser, born in 1894, is a modernist who relentlessly paints over his canvases, much as he tries to eradicate people from his life. Though he insists that he has forgone emotion and love, when he receives news of a women he once knew, he can no longer stop memories from encroaching.

Urquhart's novel ranges from late-century Rochester, New York, to Ontario to Paris to New York City. And not since Patrick White's The Vivisector have there been such disturbing scenes of the painter in action: "I believed that I was drawing--literally drawing--everything out of her, that his act of making art filled the space around me so completely there would be no other impressions possible beyond the ones I controlled." Amazingly, by exposing Fraser's emptiness, Urquhart makes us pity him. Though she has said that she was "quite angry with Austin" while writing The Underpainter, the author's language incises his reluctant humanity and turns his life into a work of art.

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