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So Much Blue: A Novel
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Published:
Graywolf Press 2017
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Description

A new high point for a master novelist, an emotionally charged reckoning with art, marriage, and the past

Kevin Pace is working on a painting that he won't allow anyone to see: not his children; not his best friend, Richard; not even his wife, Linda. The painting is a canvas of twelve feet by twenty-one feet (and three inches) that is covered entirely in shades of blue. It may be his masterpiece or it may not; he doesn't know or, more accurately, doesn't care.

What Kevin does care about are the events of the past. Ten years ago he had an affair with a young watercolorist in Paris. Kevin relates this event with a dispassionate air, even a bit of puzzlement. It's not clear to him why he had the affair, but he can't let it go. In the more distant past of the late seventies, Kevin and Richard traveled to El Salvador on the verge of war to retrieve Richard's drug-dealing brother, who had gone missing without explanation. As the events of the past intersect with the present, Kevin struggles to justify the sacrifices he's made for his art and the secrets he's kept from his wife.

So Much Blue features Percival Everett at his best, and his deadpan humor and insightful commentary about the artistic life culminate in a brilliantly readable new novel.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/13/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555979744
ASIN:
B01M0Q8CY5
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. (2017). So Much Blue: A Novel. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. 2017. So Much Blue: A Novel. Graywolf Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett, So Much Blue: A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Percival Everett. So Much Blue: A Novel. Graywolf Press, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:33:37
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:41:08
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Feb 21, 2021 06:18:39
Last Metadata Change:
Apr 29, 2020 10:44:06
Last Availability Check:
Feb 21, 2021 06:18:42
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Aug 21, 2020 12:11:54
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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A new high point for a master novelist, an emotionally charged reckoning with art, marriage, and the past

Kevin Pace is working on a painting that he won't allow anyone to see: not his children; not his best friend, Richard; not even his wife, Linda. The painting is a canvas of twelve feet by twenty-one feet (and three inches) that is covered entirely in shades of blue. It may be his masterpiece or it may not; he doesn't know or, more accurately, doesn't care.

What Kevin does care about are the events of the past. Ten years ago he had an affair with a young watercolorist in Paris. Kevin relates this event with a dispassionate air, even a bit of puzzlement. It's not clear to him why he had the affair, but he can't let it go. In the more distant past of the late seventies, Kevin and Richard traveled to El Salvador on the verge of war to retrieve Richard's drug-dealing brother, who had gone missing without explanation. As the events of the past intersect with...

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title
So Much Blue
fullDescription

A new high point for a master novelist, an emotionally charged reckoning with art, marriage, and the past

Kevin Pace is working on a painting that he won't allow anyone to see: not his children; not his best friend, Richard; not even his wife, Linda. The painting is a canvas of twelve feet by twenty-one feet (and three inches) that is covered entirely in shades of blue. It may be his masterpiece or it may not; he doesn't know or, more accurately, doesn't care.

What Kevin does care about are the events of the past. Ten years ago he had an affair with a young watercolorist in Paris. Kevin relates this event with a dispassionate air, even a bit of puzzlement. It's not clear to him why he had the affair, but he can't let it go. In the more distant past of the late seventies, Kevin and Richard traveled to El Salvador on the verge of war to retrieve Richard's drug-dealing brother, who had gone missing without explanation. As the events of the past intersect with the present, Kevin struggles to justify the sacrifices he's made for his art and the secrets he's kept from his wife.

So Much Blue features Percival Everett at his best, and his deadpan humor and insightful commentary about the artistic life culminate in a brilliantly readable new novel.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 10, 2017
        Art, friendship, family, and sex all jostle for priority of focus in the prolific Everett’s contemplative new novel. The plot doesn’t so much unfold or tighten but rather follows the idiosyncratic thoughts of its protagonist, a renowned painter named Kevin Pace. Several chapters open with philosophical statements—“I suppose every alcoholic desires to regard himself as simply a harmless drunk.” Taking his time, Kevin unspools a story from 30 years ago, another a decade old, and gauges their impact on the present. These plotlines are woven in chapters variously titled “1979,” “Paris,” and “House.” In “1979,” when he’s 24, Kevin and his close friend Richard take a potentially dangerous trip to El Salvador to find Richard’s missing brother, Tad. It doesn’t take long for them to stumble into a dangerous situation involving soldiers with M16s. The “Paris” plot charts Kevin’s romance with the alluring Victoire, with Richard playing a minor role. And in “House,” Kevin is working on a painting, perhaps a masterwork—“a painting has many surfaces,” he proclaims—but refuses to show it to his family, or anyone else for that matter. The novel’s version of the three ages of man adds yet another level to Everett’s intellectually provocative work.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2017
        An artist ponders a painting he wants to keep private along with the back stories that inspired it, the secrets that continue to haunt him.Everett (Half an Inch of Water, 2015, etc.) continues to wrestle with issues such as artistic identity and inspiration, the relation between artists and their art, the notions of what a narrator reveals and conceals, but rarely have the results been as engrossing as this. There are three separate plot strands, skillfully interwoven, each informing the others. In the present tense, protagonist Kevin Pace, the first-person narrator, is obsessed with a large, abstract painting, a work in progress that mixes various shades of blue. He eventually reveals that he's a recovering alcoholic, now a workaholic, absorbed in his painting and his memories while generally removed from his wife and children. Ten years earlier he had a passionate affair in Paris with a Frenchwoman much younger than he. Twenty years before that, he traveled with his best friend to El Salvador, then in the midst of violent revolution, to return his friend's brother to the U.S. The brother was likely involved with drugs, almost certainly using them, perhaps smuggling and dealing them. While there, the artist saw and did things that he has never been able to confess to anyone, but when he returned, he was "distant. Different." He was also committed to marrying the woman who noticed these differences in him, though he'd been unsure about marriage before he left. The story unfolds through short chapters that alternate among the three times and places as the reader learns more about the artist and his painting, but the artist also discovers more about himself: "Ten years earlier I had succumbed to a banal midlife crisis, but now I was falling victim to something far worse, a late-life revelation." The author's deft plotting and wry wit sustain multiple levels of intrigue, not only about how each of the subplots resolves itself, but how they all fit together.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2017

        Prolific and prodigiously talented novelist Everett tells the story of a painter who will not show his wife, children, or his best friend his work in progress, made up all of shades of blue.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Kevin Pace, an artist living with his wife and two children in New England, is working obsessively on a painting in his barn. It is a massive canvas, the object of daily struggles and inner turmoil. No one is allowed to see it, to the vexation of his family and closest friend, Richard, who all worry that he's drinking again. In alternating chapters, Everett (Half an Inch of Water, 2015) presents Kevin in his twenties, accompanying Richard on a harrowing trip to El Salvador to find Richard's drug-dealing brother; in his forties, in Paris for a show and falling in love with a young artist; and in the present, dealing with a fragile marriageall of it tied to a secret that has marked his life and his art. In his always insightful style, Everett offers a portrait of a man sensitive to the slightest nuance of color and composition but often oblivious to the complexities and subtleties of human relationships, a man struggling to unite the pieces of himself into a harmonious whole, a man worthy of love and family.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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