The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman: A Novel

Hardcover | September 9, 2013

bySena Jeter Naslund

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"Is it a crime to live? To create happiness for yourself through your own work?"

How do writers and painters get their ideas? And what are the hard realities of such seemingly glamorous and romantic lives? In her groundbreaking new novel, New York Times bestselling author Sena Jeter Naslund explores the transformative power of art, history, and love in the lives of creative women.

It's midnight on St. James Court, at the heart of which is a beautiful fountain sculpture of Venus rising from the sea. Kathryn Callaghan has just finished the first draft of her novel about renowned painter Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, a survivor of the French Revolution who was hated for her sympathetic portraits of Marie Antoinette. Although the manuscript is complete, its author remains haunted by Élisabeth's experiences, which are revealed in Sena Jeter Naslund's ingenious novel-within-a-novel interleaved with the chronicle of a day in the life of Kathryn Callaghan. Despite being separated by time, place, and culture, Kathryn and Élisabeth possess similar gifts and burdens: uncompromising aesthetic codes, fierce pride in their artistic expression, and unwavering love and sacrifice for their children. And before the next midnight rolls around, Kathryn will have confronted personal danger as frightening as the butchery that Élisabeth faced during the Reign of Terror. Each woman will be called upon and tested; each will, like Venus, rise triumphantly above the expectations of her world.

In this, her compelling and intimate ninth book, Sena Jeter Naslund presents the reader with an eye-opening alternate vision of The Artist: not an angry young man but a woman of age and hard-won experience who has created for herself, against enormous odds, a fulfilling life of thoroughly realized achievement.

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From the Publisher

"Is it a crime to live? To create happiness for yourself through your own work?"How do writers and painters get their ideas? And what are the hard realities of such seemingly glamorous and romantic lives? In her groundbreaking new novel, New York Times bestselling author Sena Jeter Naslund explores the transformative power of art, hist...

Sena Jeter Naslund was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1942. She received a Bachelor's degree from Birmingham Southern College, where she received the B.B. Comer Medal in English, and a Master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has taught at the University of Louisville, the University of Montana...

other books by Sena Jeter Naslund

Four Spirits: A Novel
Four Spirits: A Novel

Kobo ebook|Mar 17 2009

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Adam & Eve: A Novel
Adam & Eve: A Novel

Kobo ebook|Sep 28 2010

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see all books by Sena Jeter Naslund
Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.38 inPublished:September 9, 2013Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061579327

ISBN - 13:9780061579325

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"[A] lively and pointed variation on James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.this is an incisive and keenly pleasurable novel about women artists overcoming adversity to create "joyful work" that celebrates life's beauty and wonder." (Booklist on THE FOUNTAIN OF ST JAMES COURT)