Monday, August 11, 2008

New in Paperback: Keeping the World Away by Margaret Forster

When Margaret Forster’s Keeping the World Away (Ballantine) was first published in 2006, Salley Vickers’ review for The Guardian was thick and mostly enthusiastic. “The novel’s focus is the historic problem posed for women by the stringencies of art and the sacrifice of other potential, but competing, goods which the serious pursuit of it entails.” While this is pulled from a positive review, it doesn’t leave room for the imaginative dance of this novel, which explores the history of a single painting, Red Violin-style, as it travels from hand to hand, impacting the lives of the women it touches.

Though she has written several novels (Lady’s Maid and Diary of an Ordinary Woman among them), Forster is best known as a biographer. Her work in that area has included a Heinemann Award-winning biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and a Fawcett Society Book Prize winning biography of Daphne du Maurier.



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