Gornick’s latest novel starts with a bang: it’s June 1916, and Louis Tiffany blows up the breakwater at his mansion, Laurelton Hall, to prevent the town from reclaiming the beach for public use. He also sets in motion a chain of events that reverberates for nearly a century through several generations of his gardener’s family. Following her characters from New York to San Francisco, from Anna Freud’s consultation room to a Texas prison, Gornick, a member of the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, writes with insight and compassion about memory and trauma, illuminating some of our deepest impulses.
In 1929 Lee Miller gave up her glamorous life as a model in New York to become an artist in her own right. The place to do this was Paris, where Miller joined the avant-garde circle around Man Ray. At last persuading him to teach her photography—rather than merely use her as a model—Miller soon rivaled her mentor, with explosive results for their relationship and for art. Grounding her debut novel in vivid details of the passions, ambitions, food, and drink of interwar France, Scharer tells the story of a smart and talented woman determined to take control over her own life as well as break new artistic ground.
Gornick and Scharer will be in conversation with the BookMaven, Bethanne Patrick.