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How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel
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Published:
HarperCollins 2009
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

"Hall's writing manages to combine acute sensitivity and daring. ... Visceral and engaging. ... The emotional lives of her characters are skillfully realized in this bright weave of disparate voices–for whom art is at once a way of seeing and a way of life." —The Times (London)

The lives of four individuals—a dying painter, a blind girl, a landscape artist, and an art curator—intertwine across nearly five decades in this luminous and searching novel of extraordinary power. With How to Paint a Dead Man, , Sarah Hall, "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain's young novelists" (The Guardian), delivers "a maddeningly enticing read...an amazing feat of literary engineering" (The Independent on Sunday).

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/08/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780061873553
ASIN:
B002M41TSE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sarah Hall. (2009). How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sarah Hall. 2009. How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sarah Hall, How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sarah Hall. How to Paint a Dead Man: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2009.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. 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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        Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria. She is the prizewinning author of six novels and three short story collections. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award, Edge Hill Short Story Prize, among others, and the only person ever to win the BBC National Short Story Award twice.

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fullDescription

"Hall's writing manages to combine acute sensitivity and daring. ... Visceral and engaging. ... The emotional lives of her characters are skillfully realized in this bright weave of disparate voices–for whom art is at once a way of seeing and a way of life." —The Times (London)

The lives of four individuals—a dying painter, a blind girl, a landscape artist, and an art curator—intertwine across nearly five decades in this luminous and searching novel of extraordinary power. With How to Paint a Dead Man, , Sarah Hall, "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain's young novelists" (The Guardian), delivers "a maddeningly enticing read...an amazing feat of literary engineering" (The Independent on Sunday).

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Bookseller (London), "Bookseller's Choice, June 2009"
      • content:

        "Sarah Hall is a huge talent. Her third novel, How To Paint A Dead Man, is a beautiful, powerful book of love, lust, death, passion, art, desperation and loss. She writes her characters brilliantly." — Bookseller (London), "Bookseller's Choice, June 2009"

        "Invigorating....her verbal depiction of fictional art never stales...This deeply sensual novel is what you rarely find - an intelligent page-turner which, perversely, you also want to read slowly to savour Hall's luscious way of looking at the world." — The Sunday Telegraph

        "Her latest novel, even more than ever, reads as though it was an absolute thrill to write....a maddeningly enticing read...an amazing feat of literary engineering." — The Independent on Sunday "New Review"

        "Timely...Her writing is visceral and engaging, and the emotional lives of her characters are skillfully realized in this bright weave of disparate voices—for whom art is at once a way of seeing and a way of life." — The Times (London)

        "A stylish novel, as replete with ideas as it is technically ambitious...Hall builds her characters as a pointillist uses paint...there is no denying the confidence of her style and her emotional intelligence." — The Guardian

        "Sex, death, art: the materials with which Sarah Hall works are potent indeed. And, given a lyrical style so beautifully worked and savoursome you can taste it, this novel could have overwhelmed. Hall's book, however, slips cleverly between four separate narratives, allowing space for echoes to sound and tension to build...each narrative is a suggestive, almost tactile construct, with Hall's talent evident on every page." — Daily Mail (London)

        "A fiction pre-occupied both with the act of looking and with the way that perception creates, as well as records reality...Sarah Hall writes a fine, vivid prose of exceptional poetic intensity and...luminous beauty." — Daily Telegraph (London)

        "Sensory... its main pleasures lie...in the bloody evocation of emotion, perception and the animal proximity of sex to death...Hall physicalizes abstract experience... urgently." — Metro

        "Artists and the art world dominate this novel of love and landscape. Hall deftly balances multiple narratives across a generation and a geographical area bridging England and Italy....Displaying a sure command of character as well as a poetic mastery of language, Hall is a talent to be reckoned with." — Kirkus Reviews

        "This labyrinthine and rewarding novel changes what the reader seeks in a story...How to Paint a Dead Man is a rich and probing study of the things we live for: beauty, solitude, family and love...a work of great philosophical richness. It is an ambitious novel and its structure has a stronger affinity with the timing of a poem. ... While Hall scours the most uncomfortable corners of life, How to Paint a Dead Man remains a work of warmth, hope and savage beauty. A writer of great intelligence and literary prowess, Hall earned her early comparisons with Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence. With this powerful new novel, Hall has entered a terrain all of her own." — Sydney Morning Herald

        "Daring...Hall has proven that there's no topic she'll refuse to tackle...How to Paint a Dead Man may be Hall's most ambitious work yet...Hall's tight, stylish prose, marked by inventive turns of phrase, carries the reader...Along with contemporaries like Scarlett Thomas and Lydia Millet, Hall is staking new ground for women in the "novel of ideas"...

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

        July 27, 2009
        Stunning visual descriptions link the stories of four artists in crisis in Hall's fourth novel (after Daughters of the North
        ), but marginal, cross-generational relationships are what ground the book. Giorgio is a well-known painter and hermit in Italy in the 1960s, the near-blind Annette his favorite primary school student. Peter is a 50-something landscape artist in England, and Peter's daughter, Susan, a talented photographer and curator. Giorgio has cancer and for his final days tackles one last painting of his constant subject, colored bottles. Soon after his death, Annette tends his grave, innocent and fearful and now completely blind, fearing imaginary things like the Bestia—a demon that is depicted in her church. Thirty years later, Peter, who corresponded with Giorgio, is pinned under a boulder near his cottage, and contemplates the haunting relationship he had with his ex-wife, while in present-day London, Susan searches for feeling (through sex) after the sudden loss of her twin brother. Hall gracefully conveys a sense of the eternal through these imaginative, disconnected creatures who share the same unrelentingly contemplative disposition.

      • premium: True
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      • content:

        September 1, 2009
        Artists and the art world dominate this novel of love and landscape.

        Hall (Daughters of the North, 2008, etc.) deftly balances multiple narratives across a generation and a geographical area bridging England and Italy. Signor Giorgio, a reclusive Italian painter, dies in the early 1960s, his last years dominated by still lifes of bottles. After his death, Annette Tambroni, a blind girl overly protected by her mother, begins to tend his grave. More than 30 years later, Peter Caldicutt, a talented English painter, finds himself pinned down by boulders at the bottom of a gorge in Cumbria. When younger, Peter had written to Giorgio to express admiration for his work and to pose some questions that caused Giorgio to reflect on his preoccupation with the seeming anachronism of the still life. Now, trapped and desperate, Peter reviews his life while waiting for rescue. Two of the objects of his reminiscence are his twin children. Danny has recently been killed in a motorbike accident; Susan, who had served almost as a mirror of her brother's moods and emotions, takes his death particularly hard and deals with it largely through erotic escape. She neglects her long-term relationship with Nathan and begins a scorching affair with Tom, her fellow curator on an art exhibit in London. Peter also recalls his early days as an art student in the'60s, his marriage to the freewheeling Raymie and the threesome they formed with Peter's even more freewheeling artistic mentor, Ivan Dyas. Although Annette makes appearances throughout this many-voiced novel, the primary figures are domineering Peter, in his daughter's eyes a"colossal man…who smoked dope and rock-climbed with the Earl's sons, who walked around either stark bollock-naked or dressed for the theatre," and sensitive, anguished Susan, trying desperately to find herself after the loss of her alter ego.

        Displaying a sure command of character as well as a poetic mastery of language, Hall is a talent to be reckoned with.

        (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

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"Hall's writing manages to combine acute sensitivity and daring. ... Visceral and engaging. ... The emotional lives of her characters are skillfully realized in this bright weave of disparate voices–for whom art is at once a way of seeing and a way of life." —The Times (London)

The lives of four individuals—a dying painter, a blind girl, a landscape artist, and an art curator—intertwine across nearly five decades in this luminous and searching novel of extraordinary power. With How to Paint a Dead Man, , Sarah Hall, "one of the most significant and exciting of Britain's young novelists" (The Guardian), delivers "a maddeningly enticing read...an amazing feat of literary engineering" (The Independent on Sunday).

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      • source: The Booker Prize Foundation
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HarperCollins