These three stories celebrate the eye even as they reveal its unexpected proximity to the heart. For if each of A.S. Byatt's narratives is in some way inspired by a painting of Henri Matisse, each is also about the intimate connection between seeing and feelingabout the ways in which a glance we meant to be casual may suddenly call forth the deepest reserves of our being. Beautifully written, intensely observed, The Matisse Stories is fiction of spellbinding authority.
"Full of delight and humor...The Matisse Stories is studded with brilliantly apt images and a fine sense for subtleties of conversation and emotion."San Francisco Chronicle
|Publisher:||Recorded Books, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)|
About the Author
A.S. Byatt is the author of the novels Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), The Game, and the sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels and Insects, and four collections of shorter works, including The Matisse Stories and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Educated at Cambridge, she was a senior lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. A distinguished critic as well as a novelist, she lives in London.
Hometown:London, England; France
Date of Birth:August 24, 1936
Place of Birth:Sheffield, England
Education:B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book consists of three short stories, dedicated "For Peter, who taught me to look at things slowly ....The first, Medusa's Ankles, delivers the impact that the aesthetic deterioration of a middle-aged woman has on her husband and herself, symbolized by her hair. It was a short story dense with meanings and I am at exactly and precisely the right age to exquisitely appreciate it. The next story, Art Work, starts off with an extremely sensory description of the setting, including a stunning description of a washing machine. As with the previous story, one of the key issues was how one sees things and people. The role and meaning of color was integrated into all the relationships and the storyline, which ends with a good "gotcha". The last story, The Chinese Lobster, hinges on a student's dissertation on the female body and Matisse. This focus is used to enable another examination of women in relationships and professions. Highly recommended. My synopses do not convey the emotional and aesthetic power of these stories. 4.5 stars.
The stories are actually quite easy to follow. Well written stories but not lifechanging.
A collection of three short stories, each one resolves around a Matisse painting, by the author of the award- winning book, 'Possession.' One story deals with a hair salon, another with professors, sexual harassment and a student who hates Matisse, but the one that stood out to me was called 'Art Work.' The story introduces us to a family and their inimitable cleaning lady. Debbie, her artistic husband and her kids depend on their cleaning lady to keep their house running smoothly, but she has secrets of her own that they know nothing about. The collection is small, but interesting and it made me look up more paintings and information about Matisse himself, even though he is only a peripheral part of the book.
Excellent - vivid and thought-provoking. Looking forward to reading this again.