The Art of the Affair

The Art of the Affair : An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Influence

3.57 (114 ratings by Goodreads)
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A vibrantly illustrated chain of entanglements (romantic and otherwise) between some of our best-loved writers and artists of the twentieth century--fascinating, scandalous, and surprising.

Poet Robert Lowell died of a heart attack, clutching a portrait of his lover, Caroline Blackwood, painted by her ex-husband, Lucian Freud. Lowell was on his way to see his own ex-wife, Elizabeth Hardwick, who was a longtime friend of Mary McCarthy. McCarthy left the father of her child to marry Edmund Wilson, who had encouraged her writing, and had also brought critical attention to the fiction of Anais Nin . . . whom he later bedded. And so it goes, the long chain of love, affections, and artistic influences among writers, musicians, and artists that weaves its way through the The Art of the Affair--from Frida Kahlo to Colette to Hemingway to Dali; from Coco Chanel to Stravinsky to Miles Davis to Orson Welles.

Scrupulously researched but playfully prurient, cleverly designed and colorfully illustrated, it's the perfect gift for your literary lover--and the perfect read for any good-natured gossip-monger.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 178 x 184 x 15.24mm | 398g
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 4-color illustrations throughout; two fold-out spreads.
  • 1632866552
  • 9781632866554
  • 588,307

Review Text

Novelist Catherine Lacey and the illustrator Forsyth Harmon team up to draw (literal) lines between artists' marriages, flings, rivalries and assorted other connections. Some couplings in the survey are better known than others; some were more fully consummated than others. Wending its way through Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Anaïs Nin and Gore Vidal, the book ends with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, who, Lacey writes, 'seemed to have had the sort of relationship we should all aspire to.' New York Times Book Review
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Review quote

"There s significant talent at work here." Dwight Garner, "New York Times on NOBODY IS EVER MISSING"

"Lacey is a very gifted writer and thinker." Daphne Merkin, "The New Yorker on NOBODY IS EVER MISSING"

"[Harmon's] work is youthful, nostalgic; high-fashion, low-fashion; a thought-provoking way of presenting the ordinary, the over-familiar . . . I particularly love [her] portraits." "The Le Sigh: Girl Spotlight on Forsyth Harmon""
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About Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is the author of the novels Nobody Is Ever Missing and The Answers. She is based in Chicago.
Forsyth Harmon is a writer and illustrator based in New York. She is completing her first novel.
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Rating details

114 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 18% (20)
4 35% (40)
3 36% (41)
2 10% (11)
1 2% (2)
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