Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Showcase The Life of David Hockney by Catherine Cusset translated from the French by Teresa Lavender Fagan

So those who know me know I've been touting a new indie publisher, Other Press. A small firm that specializes in a very large diverse range of both fiction and non-fiction. The Life of David Hockney is the best of both worlds as Other Press describes it as a hybrid of a memoir and a biography. I only know that I can't wait to open my copy and read it and once you read all about it you'll feel the same way.

ISBN-13: 978-1-59051-983-7
Publisher: Other Press
Release Date: 5-14-2019

Length: 192pp

Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound
With clear, vivid prose, this meticulously researched novel draws an intimate, moving portrait of the most famous living English painter.
Born in 1937 in a small town in the north of England, David Hockney had to fight to become an artist. After leaving his home in Bradford for the Royal College of Art in London, his career flourished, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging, because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalized, and his inclination for a figurative style of art not sufficiently “contemporary” to be valued. Trips to New York and California–where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools–introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic.

A compelling hybrid of novel and biography, Life of David Hockney offers an accessible overview of the painter who shook the world of art with a vitality and freedom that neither heartbreak nor illness nor loss could corrode.


It was an extraordinary summer. He left Mark’s parents’ house—they had become tired of the eccentricities of their son’s friends—and moved to Brooklyn, where Ferrill had a small, comfortable apartment with thick carpeting that swallowed your feet, a TV, and a real bathroom. David didn’t know anyone that young who lived in such a luxurious place. But the way Ferrill lived surprised him even more; you went into his place as you would a turnstile: you took a shower with him, you slipped into his bed, then you would leave. Free love, without ties, without jealousy, without guilt. Just pleasure to give and receive. It was the life David wanted. So long, Bradford! Even London seemed grim in comparison.

When he finally decided to contact the head of the department of prints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, whose name Mr. Erskine had given him, another surprise awaited him: not only did the man know who he was, and said he had been eager to meet him—he had received a letter from Erskine recommending his brilliant protégé—not only did he look at the etchings that David had brought from London, but he bought them! David couldn’t believe it. He was still a student and the MoMA in New York was acquiring his etchings. What generosity, and how easy life was in America!


“A delicate, empathetic writer unabashedly following Hockney from his birth in 1937 with sympathy and understanding…Cusset gets him—you should too.” —Boston Herald

“A perfect short exposé of Hockney’s life.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[A] tour de force…Cusset brilliantly integrates the selectivity of detail enjoyed by a novelist with the more formal structure usually exercised in a nonfiction account.” —Booklist

“A dazzling portrait of a man striving for a life at odds with the world. Beautiful, fascinating, and heartrending—this book amazes. I couldn’t put it down.” —Nick White, author of Sweet and Low

“Cusset magnificently pays homage to the artist, revisiting half a century of art history.” —Lire

“At the heart of this exercise in admiration, David Hockney is not only the artist who loves swimming pools, beautiful boys, trees, and the English countryside. He also appears as a fragile hero.” —L’Obs

“A work halfway between novel and biography, which plunges us into the fascinating world of the famous British figurative artist.” —La Presse

About the author:
Catherine Cusset was born in Paris in 1963. A graduate of the École normale supérieure in Paris and agrégée in Classics, she taught eighteenth-century French literature at Yale from 1991 to 2002. She is the author of thirteen novels, including The Story of Jane and L’autre qu’on adorait (short-listed for the 2016 Prix Goncourt), and has been translated into seventeen languages. Cusset lives in Manhattan with her American husband and daughter.