The White Road: Journey Into an Obsession - Edmund de Waal

Like the legendary Silk Road, The White Road (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27) is a route of wonders. Edmund de Waal’s fifth book is about the “white gold” that is porcelain, and porcelain is about geology and alchemy, shards and ewers, Jesuits, emperors, and Swedenborg’s angels—it’s a rich, multi-faceted story that de Waal, a world-renowned ceramicist who “write[s] books, too,” follows from China to Versailles to Meissen to Plymouth. Along the way he charts where it darkens with exploitation, war, and the Nazis’ brand of figurines, but more often reports the efforts of craftsmen and apothecaries to perfect the balance of porcelain’s kaolin and other (often secret) ingredients, and to discover the best temperatures for firing the clay to its wondrous luminescence. This quest leads de Waal, like so many others, to develop a life-long case of porzellankranheir, “porcelain sickness”—a condition reminiscent of tulip-mania. As he did in his unforgettable The Hare with Amber Eyes, de Waal makes history personal; he is passionate about porcelain, and his exquisitely textured language brings you into the hearts, minds, and hands of some of the world’s most virtuosic—and colorful—artisans of the white clay.

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374289263
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 10th, 2015

The White Road: Journey into an Obsession Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781250097323
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - November 1st, 2016

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern - Francine Prose

A novelist with a satirical bent, as well as the author of Lives of the Muses and a biography of Caravaggio, Francine Prose is a natural to write the life of the flamboyant heiress and art collector, Peggy Guggenheim (Yale, $25). Unconventional in her personal life and iconoclastic in her work, Guggenheim (1898-1979) was born with “the urge to unnerve,” whether it was by promoting surrealism or by conducting affairs with as many men as possible, including Samuel Beckett. But Beckett, like many of the painters Guggenheim championed, was relatively unknown when she took up with him, and her support of figures now considered art-world superstars—notably Jackson Pollock—testifies to Guggenheim’s sharp eye and prescience. Yet with her often bizarre outfits, public scenes, uncanny knack for getting involved in abusive relationships, and sudden shifts from generosity to stinginess, Guggenheim was sometimes hard to take seriously. Prose, however, looks carefully at her subject’s self-described “inferiority complex,” and notes that Guggenheim was often exploited for her money while being treated dismissively by the male art world—even as her galleries in London, New York, and Venice were instrumental not just in challenging but in changing perceptions—richly fulfilling the modernist mission.

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern (Jewish Lives) Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780300203486
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - September 29th, 2015

Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern (Jewish Lives) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780300224290
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - November 22nd, 2016