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The Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper Audio CD – Sep 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: THE AUDIO PARTNERS; Unabridged edition (Sept. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572702893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572702899
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 16.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 127 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)


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First Sentence
"Could you model for me tomorrow, Lyd?" Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The cover of this book was originally what caught my eye, since I had purchased a Mary Cassatt calendar at one time and found her paintings to be very personal and familial. This novel is beautifully written, the author mentions in the beginning of the book that although she researched the subjects, this is definitely the author's interpretation of how life may have been between the two sisters, and life in France at that time. I enjoyed it very much - especially the eternal bond that the sisters share...
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By MissyLynne on Jan. 15 2004
Format: Paperback
This was an interesting book. I found it interesting to see the story through the eyes of Lydia Cassatt. It held my interest but what caught my attention the most were the areas revolving around Mary "May" Cassatt and Edgar Degas. The author made it feel as though the two were lovers or close to it.
And the fact the Cassatt and Degas are my two favorite Impressionist adds to the enjoyment of the book.
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By A Customer on July 26 2003
Format: Paperback
Just a sweet and simple book about sisterly love and having to face one's own mortality. Lots of metaphoric prose and colorful descriptions. A small insight into the world of art and artists. Subtly presented, yet deep in meaning and insightfulness. Can easily be read in a couple of hours.
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Format: Paperback
There is much that is admirable about the novella LYDIA CASSATT READING THE MORNING PAPER, and there is just as much that is annoying. Inescapably, this fictionalized biography of a valiant woman succumbing to a fatal illness has a subtext of pathos. Thus, hardly surprisingly, the story never quite is able to get past its own grim underlying reality.
At the same time, though author Harriet Scott Chessman is a wonderful writer, the book is so short that it seems as if she is cheating her readers. There have been several works of fiction in the recent past offering possible background accounts of famous artists, or their subjects, or of the periods during which their most famous works were created. The two similar books about Vermeer, GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE and GIRL WITH PEARL EARRING, each are more fully formed than Lydia Cassatt's report is here. Maybe it is fair to say that this idea of writing a fiction around a well-regarded painting is an idea which has been worked, and worked successfully--and that it is past time for other authors to move along to new forms of inspiration.
It is jarring to read thoughts being put into the mind of Lydia Cassatt when the author has no way of knowing what Lydia might have been thinking. This device completely breaks the natural flow of the story. Of course, this always is a risk when any author writes a fictionalized account of an episode in a real person's life.
The detail of life in Paris, specifically the lives of rich expatriate Americans in that moment of Henry James and Edith Wharton, are vivid and fascinating. The exploration of the movement of Impressionist art at the very time when it still was being formed by artists then considered iconoclasts is the highlight of the book.
Physically, it is not overstating to say that LYDIA CASSATT READING THE MORNING PAPER is a beautiful little gem of a novella, illustrated as it is with small reproductions of the paintings at issue.
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By A Customer on Feb. 3 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinarily moving and beautifully written novel. Chessman takes the reader somewhere new: to the inner life of a famous painter and her dying sister. We see Paris in the 1880s; we meet Degas and the Mary Cassatt; we relive the sudio sessions in which Lydia Cassatt sat as a model for her sister Mary. And beyond all that, we come to confront our own mortality as Lydia poses bravely for her sister, living on in paintings that capture the delicate ties between sisters, between women, among artists and their models. This is a book about life and death, art and love, beauty and transcience. I could not put it down once I started reading it, and I can't stop thinking about it now that I have finished. I recommend it to all.
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Format: Paperback
Harriett Scott Chessman's prose moves with the deceptive beauty of a ballet dancer, its weightless grace diverting attention from the muscularity powering every gesture. Nothing is squandered, as this wisp-thin novel offers up more sharp-eyed observation and insight than books five times its girth.
Consider the narrator's description of Edgar Degas, whom she likens to a dog. "He bit into subjects --- the foolishness of one artist or another, the insipidity of someone's latest effort, I can't remember --- all the while his eyes lit on things in our apartment, with an air of studying and maybe breaking them: the tea set, the Japanese vase on the mantel, me."
LYDIA CASSATT READING THE MORNING PAPER is a fictionalized story based on the relationship between the American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt and her sister, Lydia, who narrates the story. The novel revolves around sessions in which Lydia poses for her sister. Lydia, 41, is dying of Bright's disease. On a good day, sitting and holding a newspaper while Mary paints her is physically exhausting. On a bad day, getting out of bed would be an impossible trick.
Mary, seven years her junior, is on the cusp of realizing her creative ambitions, having been accepted as the only woman in the inner circle of late 19th Century impressionists who were stirring up Paris and the art world.
These sisters savor their time together because they deeply love each other and they know they'll soon be parted. Much goes unspoken. The younger sister avoids acknowledging that Lydia has little time left and the older woman doesn't force the conversation. They communicate through the work. "I was sick again this morning, and May (Lydia refers to her sister by this nickname throughout) looked discouraged as she helped me wash my face and get dressed.
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