The imagined life story of Frida Kahlo opens and closes on her deathbed, taking us through a kaleidoscope of memories and hallucinations. Her life as a painter begins after her accident. She bears the wounds of her body and spirit with stark pride, transcending all limitations, wrapping her senses around the events of her past, even scorning her lover, Diego Rivera, for his limited vision, until she is swept away by her own senses. A bold interpretation of the life of an artist from the award-winning, highly acclaimed poet and author of 'Lithium for Medea' among others.
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(216mm x 145mm x 23mm)
Seven Stories Press,U.S.
Publisher: Seven Stories Press,U.S.
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Born in Mexico City in 1910, Frida Kahlo was just 15 when a road accident left her crippled, thereby devastating her dream of a career as a doctor. Condemned to suffer pain for the rest of her days, Kahlo taught herself to paint, eventually sending her work to the artist Diego Rivera. Rivera, whose depictions of working class life were responsible for the modern revival of Mexican art, was to become her husband. By 1939 their volatile relationship had ended in divorce and Kahlo had been 'discovered' by the French poet and principal theorist of Surrealism, Andre Breton. Somewhat peversely, Breton insisted on incorporating her into the Surrealist movement despite Kahlo's objection that she in fact saw herself as a realist painter who simply depicted her own life. In recent times it has been recognized that Kahlo took the traditions of Mexican popular art and Mayan history and invested them with an imagery symbolic of her personal agony. Frequently shocking, Kahlo's paintings suggest a complex and tortured psychology. Taking this interior life as her starting point, Braverman embarks upon an imaginary voyage into Frida Kahlo's mind. Frida is 46 when we meet her and on her deathbed. Braverman's fictional flashback manages to resist the trap of whimsy while capturing the essence of an extraordinary woman whose work Breton once likened to 'a ribbon around a bomb', and who was once at the centre of controversial artistic and political circles that included the likes of Leon Trotsky and Pablo Picasso. Braverman has her own history of rebellion. In the '60s she was an activist at Berkeley, today she is widely appreciated for her poetry and short stories. In her seductive and often brutal interpretation of this enigmatic yet profoundly disturbing painter Braverman has produced a literary retrospective of one of the most powerful artists of our times. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Kate Braverman
Kate Braverman is the author of three novels: Lithium for Medea (available soon from Turnaround), Palm Latitudes and Wonders of the West as well as several books of poetry and a collection of short stories, Squandering the Blue. She was a 1992 O. Henry Award-winner for her short story, "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta." She now lives in New York City.