The Truth About Lorin Jones by Alison Lurie

cover of the book The Truth About Lorin JonesThe Truth About Lorin Jones by Alison Lurie
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year:
Published: 1988
Publisher: Little, Brown
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Format: Hardcover
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No. of Pages: 328
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ISBN: 9780316537209
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Polly Aller, a single parent and compassionate feminist, researches the untimely death of painter Lorin Jones, only to be exposed to fast-paced worlds beyond her experiece and her own difficult questions From Publishers Weekly In her wry, ironic manner, Lurie ( Foreign Affairs ) integrates two themes into this diverting novel, one a comic send-up of radical feminists and the other an exploration of the relationship between an artist’s life and her art. The two issues coincide for protagonist Polly Alter. Having separated from her husband rather than follow him to his new job in Denver, Polly has taken a leave from a New York museum where she is an assistant curator to research a biography of an unjustly neglected woman artist, Lorin Jones. Though Lorin died 20 years ago, Polly feels many affinities with the artist, who was, she thinks, a victim of the male establishment. But as she interviews the people in Lorin’s lifeincluding her former husband, a distinguished art critic, and her elusive former lover, a poet-turned-contractorshe receives widely contradictory versions of what Lorin was like. Polly’s confusion is heightened when Jeanne, a lesbian friend with whom she now shares her apartment, convinces Polly that she too is a lesbian. But Polly’s real trouble is that she is a wimp, foolishly letting herself be exploited by Jeanne in much the same way that feminists claim women traditionally have been abused by men. Miserable because her image of Lorin has been tarnished, and guilty because she feels herself falling in love with Lorin’s erstwhile lover, Polly finally throws off her emotional blinders and acknowledges that the ‘truth’ about both Lorin and herself must encompass all of their contradictory traits. Written with a light but wicked touch, this is an engaging read. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal As chronicler of the life and work of brilliant artist Lorin Jones, Polly Altermuseum curator and would-be painterat first has it all figured out. Lorin, left to die alone in Key West, was done in by the white, male art establishment. But as Polly’s interviewing progresses, Lorin comes down from her pedestal, and her ‘villains’ emerge as likeable persons; at the same time, some of the truths about Polly’s life are shattered or realigned. In her eighth novel, Lurie explores a trick of the human mindhow people and events are not always as they seem at first takeby smoothly interspersing straight narrative with cleverly constructed one-sided interviews. For all her skill, however, the novel bogs down in the middle with too much of a good thing, and the ending, although surprising, is a disappointment. Lurie fans will want to read this anyway. Michelle Lodge, New York City Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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