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The Lives of the Muses (Paperback)
All loved, and were loved by, their artists, and inspired them with an intensity of emotion akin to Eros.
In a brilliant, wry, and provocative book, National Book Award finalist Francine Prose explores the complex relationship between the artist and his muse. In so doing, she illuminates with great sensitivity and intelligence the elusive emotional wellsprings of the creative process.
About the Author
Francine Prose is the author of twenty works of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director's Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent book is Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932. She lives in New York City.
“Rollicking … Almost too much fun to read.”
-Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
“Stylish writing … a clear-eyed view .. cherry-picked examples.”
“With elegance, eloquence and majesty, Prose has give us a glimpse of the tangled webs of art and Eros.”
“Refreshing … a wonderful work of revisionist biography.”
“A wonderful combination of argument and literary portraiture.”
-Wall Street Journal
“Prose has done a great service in her just reconsideration of the rather strange, complicated role of the muse.”
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Juicy reading …. a thoroughly researched, highly opinionated series of fascinating double biographies.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A supple work of cultural history.”
“Sad, glamorous and entirely riveting.”
“Francine Prose humanizes nine women who, in some cases, have been idealized beyond recognition. Hurrah for real women.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“Entertaining … Prose’s indignation, intelligence, scorching wit and critical insight have full play.”
-Washington Post Book World
“A remarkable book...piquant, intelligent, provocative--and sometimes haunting.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Prose make a remarkable case for the exceptionality of these women in their own right.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Exceptionally well researched … an elegant study.”
“Lively and compassionate”
“Richly drawn … Prose approaches the artist-muse relationship with respect and wonder.”
“Prose taps into the power of nine in this inspired book.”
“Packed with fascinating details.”
“Smooth smart and altogether engaging.”
-Atlanta Journal Constitution