Monday, September 27, 2010

Blue Nude

Published by:  Gallery Books

Born in the shadow of post-war Germany, Danzig is a once prominent painter who now teaches at an art institute in San Francisco. But while Danzig shares wisdom and technique with students, his own canvasses remain empty, for reasons he doesn’t understand. One day, he and his class begin sketching a new model, a young woman named Merav, the Israeli-born granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. Danzig is immediately taken with her exceptional beauty, sensing that she may be the muse he has been missing. Challenged by Danzig’s German accent, Merav must decide how to overcome her fears. Before they can create anything new together, both artist and model are forced to examine the history that they carry.

Blue Nude recounts the events that bring Danzig and Merav together, including their disparate upbringings, their respective creative awakenings, and their similarly painful, often catastrophic, love lives. Using words to paint the landscapes of body and soul, Rosner conveys the art of survival, the complexity of history, the form of exile, the shape of desire, and the color of intimacy, all the while underscoring the lasting impact of the Holocaust on post-war generations in a literary yet accessible way.

First off, I will NEVER ever ever read a book in my house with the word NUDE on the cover again until my kids grow up.  My 6 year old, looked at it and screeched "NUDE? You're reading a NUDE book?"  I sat there trying to calmly explain to her that it wasn't a nude book that it was about an artist and a model.  Her screeching and of course, the word nude drew the attention of the other two who came in to laugh at Mama reading the nude book.  Kids!

Other than that, it was a beautifully written book.  It was sad and haunting and you felt so bad for the characters.  It was written in a style that I was a bit unused to.  There were no quotation marks around the dialogue, so at first I found that a little odd, but then I realized it was less distracting.  Everything just flowed. 

I didn't really like Danzig much personally, I thought he was rude and arrogant, but I guess he grew into that personality because of his accomplishment.  He felt like he deserved whatever he wanted and that annoyed me.  I didn't like the way he treated the women around him, his models, his students, etc.

I did find this book quite interesting.  I had never really thought too much about what it takes to be an artists' model, apparently it's a lot more than just taking off your clothes and standing there.  The relationship of artist to model can be so very complex.

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review which I have provided.  I was in no other way compensated.**


Jinky said...

Good warning! I can imagine my 7yo son screaming...eewww!!

Nice review. =]

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

LOL...probably would not want to read it on public transportation either!

I do have this book and your review makes me want to get to it now (wrapped in brown paper first though).

Unknown said...

LOL, thanks for the "nude" warning. My daughter (5) has already started giggling at her podiatrist (Dr. Wiener).

Sounds like an excellent book.