Allegra Goodman The Chalk Artist

ISBN 13: 9781786490889

The Chalk Artist

3.39 avg rating
( 1,123 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781786490889: The Chalk Artist
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Chalk Artist

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Allegra Goodman's novels include Intuition, and The Cookbook Collector. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, amongst others, and her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, and The American Scholar. Goodman studied initially at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

Grendel’s Den
Her long hair curtained her face as she sat marking papers. Drunk graduate students surrounded her, but she didn’t even look up. Rock pounding, dishes clattering, this was Grendel’s in winter, the old Cambridge dive, loud, warm, and subterranean, half a flight down from Winthrop Street. A green lamp lit every table, a hundred mirrors hung on paneled walls. Collin watched her reflection from every angle. She looked so elegant and out of place.

She came on Tuesday nights, and sometimes Thursdays too. She would order a Mediterranean salad and start grading papers. She was slender, fair, her eyes dark and shining, as though she knew some secret—­she alone. Whenever he got close enough, he looked over her shoulder. Her handwriting was precise, her pen purple, extra fine. Once she glanced up and nearly smiled. You realize, he told her silently, if I drop something it’s your fault. If I break a plate, it’s all because of you.

He saw guys leering, even if she didn’t. “Everybody’s looking at her,” he told Samantha, the bartender.

Sam said, “Yeah, but mostly you.”

Collin was twenty-­three, bright, artistic, and unhappy. He had just left college for the second time, and although he had good reasons, his mother was upset with him. His ex-­girlfriend Noelle was out of patience. His father was in the navy; he had not seen or even heard from the man in seven years. Collin had thought of enlisting, mostly to travel, but he had grown up on a street where signs in the front yards read war is not the answer. He never did enlist. He didn’t go anywhere.

He worked at a bar and went out drinking afterward. Even if he’d enjoyed college and respected his instructors, even if he had excelled at Web design and programming, he didn’t have time to go to class. He was busy collecting tips and partying, waking up in other people’s beds. Sometimes he despised himself; not often. Sometimes he decided to get serious, but he kept working nights and sleeping in, and hanging with his high school friends, and all of this became a full-­time job; youth itself was his vocation.

For this reason, the girl’s diligence fascinated him. She sat for hours grading at her table, and she was so young—­way too young to be a teacher. She should have known better than to sit alone down there. Few came to work at Grendel’s, and those who tried, didn’t get much done. They would open their computers and close them gratefully when drinks arrived. This girl did not respond to guys circling her table. She looked royal in her cardigans and trailing scarves and calfskin boots. He sketched her on his order pad. The princess of solitude, with a crown.

One Tuesday, when she started packing up, her coat slipped off the back of her chair, and Collin ran to catch it for her. She stood to go, and he realized how tall she was, almost his height. He was close enough to see the gold flecks in her eyes, the freckles dusting her face. He held his breath as she slipped her arms into the sleeves. Then she thanked him, and rushed off.

“Nice,” teased a waitress named Kayte. “Could you catch my coat too? Before it touches the ground?”

Collin watched for the girl on Thursday while he carried out chicken wings and plates of stuffed potato skins. He served foaming Guinness, caught bits of conversation: Seriously? How much did that cost? I feel guilty but . . . The Who pounding. Students wailing, “The exodus is here.” Busy night and no free time, but Collin kept watching until Sam started flicking ice at him from behind the bar. “Who’re you waiting for?”

“Shut up.”

“So you admit it.” Sam was tiny but in your face. She was compiling a book of vintage cocktails.

“I’m not admitting anything.”

True, Collin wondered about the teacher. He speculated about her at Broadway Bicycle School, where he taught wheel changing, tire patching—­basic repair. She had sounded American, but he decided that she came from Paris. Or London. He said, “Inflate the tube and listen.” Maybe Barcelona.

On Monday he colored backdrops for the theater company he had founded with his roommate, Darius. Working with wet chalk on old-­fashioned rolling blackboards, he drew slender trunks and arching branches, layered cherry blossoms, white and pink. The edge of his chalk crumbled. He rubbed white and red together with his thumb, and he thought and thought about her. Sometimes she glanced up and she was looking at him, he was sure of it. The next second he would think, No, that can’t be true. Daydreaming about her, he felt lighthearted, amused. His fantasies were so chaste and so persistent. She was always sitting at her table, just out of reach, and he liked her there—­although he was intensely curious. What was she doing all alone? A girl like that would have a boyfriend. There had to be some story. A long-­distance relationship—­but she didn’t look lonely. He wanted to know her. Or at least to hear her name.

There were days she never even crossed his mind. He spent a weekend with Noelle. They went to a party and stayed out late dancing, and then they went to her place and he began undressing her. She laughed, and he knew why. Now that they’d sworn off each other their bodies were so eager.

Late the next day they woke stale and headachy, annoyed with themselves. Even so, Darius’s girlfriend, Emma, had four tickets to Lady Lamb the Beekeeper in Davis Square, and so they went. All that time, Collin didn’t think about the girl, until Lady Lamb bent over her guitar, her long hair curtaining her face. Then suddenly he imagined the girl watching him. He saw himself through her eyes and he was cheap, and aimless. He felt poor, as well, although he didn’t consider himself poor. He considered himself free.

The next week, he was taking orders for a party of six when she materialized again. He looked up, and there she was, already seated in Kayte’s territory. He was not getting off early, but when he saw the huge stack of papers on her table, he made a secret deal with her. If you keep at it until eleven, I’ll walk out with you.

All night he watched her table, willing her to stay. When she began to stir, he murmured: “No, you don’t. Keep working. You aren’t going anywhere.”

Ten forty-­five, she pushed back her chair. From behind, he saw her shoulders shaking, and thought she must be sobbing, or choking. He rushed over. “Are you all right?”

When she looked up, she was laughing, not crying, and she showed him an essay. Curvy handwriting on lined paper, the title in bigger script: Juliet: Shakespeare’s Heroin. “What do you think?”

A thousand ideas crowded his mind, none about her student’s spelling, as he watched her add an e. “Are you really a teacher?”

She said, “I keep asking myself.”

“You don’t look like one.”

She shook back her long brown hair and glanced up at him, amused. “What’s a teacher supposed to look like?”

“Old,” he told her. “Bitter.”

“I’m bitter.”

“How long have you been teaching?”

“Three months.”

“Your students are that bad?”

She frowned as she looked down at her check. Annoyed? Or just figuring out the tip?

He said, “My friend Darius was thinking of directing Romeo and Juliet, but he couldn’t find a church.”

“He couldn’t get permission?” Already she was shouldering her bag, and standing up to go.

“He wanted to do it in a cathedral with stained glass and confessionals, but the only church interested was Unitarian.”

“Are you an actor?”

Jean-­Philippe, the busboy, was trying to get by, and Collin stepped sideways. “I’m an actor and an artist.” He regretted the words as soon as he said them. He sounded pretentious. “Mostly chalk.”

She looked puzzled. “On sidewalks?”

“Yeah, but other places too. I do all the art for Theater Without Walls.”

“I’ve heard of them!”

“In the Phoenix?” He turned, glancing backward at Kayte. Cover for me, he begged her silently. She was shaking her head, but he knew she liked him. Just five minutes. My tips are yours! “Wait, let me walk you out.” He handed the girl a leaflet for The Cherry Orchard, a new production at the MIT tennis courts by Theater Without Walls. Art Director: Collin James.

“Tennis courts in December?”

“They’re indoor.” He led the way upstairs and opened the door for her. The snow around them lit the darkness. “I’m designing the lights . . . and the trees. I’m in it too.”

“You perform in Sennott Park, right?”

“We perform all over. We did The Tempest on a traffic island.”

“That’s it! I read about the car accident.”

“It was just one guy hitting a pole,” he said. “Nobody got hurt.”

She smiled.

“Come to The Cherry Orchard. I’ll get you a ticket. Give me your name and I’ll put you on the list.”

She didn’t say yes, and she didn’t say no. She just looked at him, and her eyes were so dark and bright that he drew closer, until she began to laugh.

“Or not.” He took a full step back.

“I wasn’t laughing at the play.”

“Why, then?” He had wild curly hair, black eyes, a quick, athletic body, a defensive look.

“I don’t know,” she said in some confusion.

“Come if you want,” he said coolly.

“Okay,” she said, automatically polite.

He didn’t ask her name; he pretended she was just a customer. “Have a good night.”

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781400069873: The Chalk Artist: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1400069874 ISBN 13:  9781400069873
Publisher: The Dial Press, 2017
Hardcover

9781786490902: The Chalk Artist

Atlant...
Softcover

9781786491930: The Chalk Artist

Atlant...
Softcover

9780399592485: The Chalk Artist

Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Allegra Goodman
Published by ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom (2017)
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English. Brand new Book. In exquisite detail, Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy's life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world. Aidan and his twin sister Diana live with their mother in a small American town, which is dominated by the gaming company Arkadia. By day, Aidan goes to school, struggles with his friendships, does his homework as all normal teenagers do. But by night, he is a champion fighter, at the top of Arkadia's EverWhen gaming world. When he is mysteriously sent a small black BoX, which physically takes him into that world, the reality and perceptions of his two lives start dangerously to shift. Nina, Aidan's English teacher and the daughter of Arkadia's owner, suspects that something is wrong and wants to help, but she has her own demons to deal with. The love of her life, Collin, is being pulled further into the clutches of EverWhen - when the two worlds collide, everyone involved will have to decide where their loyalties actually lie. Seller Inventory # AA99781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.74
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Allegra Goodman
Published by ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom (2017)
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English. Brand new Book. In exquisite detail, Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy's life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world. Aidan and his twin sister Diana live with their mother in a small American town, which is dominated by the gaming company Arkadia. By day, Aidan goes to school, struggles with his friendships, does his homework as all normal teenagers do. But by night, he is a champion fighter, at the top of Arkadia's EverWhen gaming world. When he is mysteriously sent a small black BoX, which physically takes him into that world, the reality and perceptions of his two lives start dangerously to shift. Nina, Aidan's English teacher and the daughter of Arkadia's owner, suspects that something is wrong and wants to help, but she has her own demons to deal with. The love of her life, Collin, is being pulled further into the clutches of EverWhen - when the two worlds collide, everyone involved will have to decide where their loyalties actually lie. Seller Inventory # AA99781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.35
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Goodman, Allegra
Published by Atlantic Books (2017)
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Monster Bookshop
(Fleckney, United Kingdom)

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2017. Hardcover. Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0003047264

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.75
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.74
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Goodman, Allegra
Published by Atlantic Books
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description Atlantic Books. Condition: New. Allegra Goodman, lauded by Lionel Shriver, shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, and a New York Times bestselling novelist, tackles love, obsession and alternate realities in this gritty and thought-provoking novel. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 156. . . 2017. Main. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.59
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Goodman, Allegra
Published by Atlantic Books (2017)
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2017. Condition: New. Allegra Goodman, lauded by Lionel Shriver, shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, and a New York Times bestselling novelist, tackles love, obsession and alternate realities in this gritty and thought-provoking novel. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 156. . . 2017. Main. Hardcover. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Allegra Goodman
Published by Atlantic Books
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)

Book Description Atlantic Books. Hardback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 12.31
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.68
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Allegra Goodman
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)

Book Description Condition: New. Not Signed; In exquisite detail, Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy's life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gaming realm that becomes more authentic than his real world. Aidan and his twin sister Diana live with their mother in a small Am. book. Seller Inventory # ria9781786490889_rkm

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.59
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.84
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Allegra Goodman
Published by Atlantic Books (2017)
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2017. HRD. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # F6-9781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.25
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Allegra Goodman
ISBN 10: 1786490889 ISBN 13: 9781786490889
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
AussieBookSeller
(Lidcombe, NSW, Australia)

Book Description 2017. Hardcover. Condition: New. Hardcover. In exquisite detail, Goodman explores what happens when an alternate reality takes over one boy's life, and the forces at work behind his obsession: the all-encompassing gamin.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.626. Seller Inventory # 9781786490889

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 25.48
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 37.00
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds