It was Emily Carr (1871-1945), not Georgia O'Keeffe or Frida Kahlo, who first blazed a path for modern women artists. Overcoming the confines of late Victorian culture, Carr became a major force in modern art. Her boldly original landscapes are praised today for capturing an untamed British Columbia, and its indigenous peoples, just before industrialization would change it forever. In her latest novel, Susan Vreeland brings to life this fiercely independent and underappreciated figure. From illegal potlatches in tribal communities to prewar Paris, where her art was exhibited in the famed Salon d'Automne, Carr's story is as arresting as it is vibrant. Vreeland tells it with gusto and suspense, giving vivid portraits of Carr and the unconventional people to whom she was inevitably drawn: Sophie, a native basket maker; Harold, the son of missionaries, who embraces indigenous cultures; Fanny, a New Zealand artist who spends a summer with Carr painting in the French countryside; and Claude, a French fur trader who steals her heart. The result is a glorious novel that will appeal to lovers of art, native cultures, and lush historical fiction.More
"Vreeland couldn't have chosen a more vital, compelling, and significant subject....Her dramatic depictions of Carr's daunting solo journeys, arduous artistic struggle, persistent loneliness, and despair over the tragic fate of the endangered people she came to love truly are provocative and moving." (Booklist)
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Trite and poorly read
- Helen W. Karl