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Publisher's Summary

Some of the twentieth century's most important artists and writers, from Jackson Pollock to Saul Steinberg, Fairfield Porter to Jean Stafford, lived and worked on the East End of Long Island. The home they made there would affect their creative work for years to come. Pollock found there a connection to nature that inspired some of the most significant painting of our time. James Schuyler and Frank O'Hara found companionship and raw material for their poems on South Main Street and the city train. Willem de Kooning rode his bike every day to Gardiner's Bay, where the light informed every brushstroke he put to canvas from the early 1960s on. Through searching, lyrical vignettes, critic and poet Robert Long mixes storytelling with history to recreate these lives and events that shaped American art and literature.
©2005 Robert Long (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Mesmerizing and moving." (Booklist)
"Vividly told....Captures the spirit of modernism as filtered through New York's rural past." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By CHET YARBROUGH on 08-08-14


At best, “De Kooning’s Bicycle” opens a door to two famous American’ artists, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer and some lesser known painters and writers that live in the Hampton’s in the 1950s and 60s; at worst, a listener is puzzled by snippets of information that reveal little about the subject and less about the author’s perspective.

A suggestive thread weaves through Long’s vignettes in “De Kooning’s Bicycle”; i.e. artistic creativity seems linked to self-destructive behavior. This trite and banal inference diminishes the book’s appeal. Life is difficult for every human being, not just creative artists and writers. The monumental difference is that creativity in any field of endeavor gives one a chance to live forever.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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