Synopses & Reviews
The Light Possessed focuses on Ava Boldin, who begins her solitary and single-minded journey to become a great artist as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago in the years before World War I. Her life and art dramatically change when she meets and marries Albert Stigmar, a New York photographer and gallery owner nearly twice her age. Though he successfully promotes her work in an art world dominated by men, she is drawn to the desert Southwest where "it was as though a fire had broken out above the horizon in a sky made of paper, and it was consuming the very stuff of darkness." Ultimately she turns her back on the New York art establishment and embraces the landscape and light of New Mexico, where she seeks to nurture the intensity of her artistic vision at Blue Mesa.
"Ostensibly the fictional biography of a woman painter based on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe, this novel is a moving meditation on art--on color, shape, light, lines, and design. . . . Cheuse has captured in language a sense of the world that is normally expressed only in pigment on canvas".--Digby Diehl, "Playboy".
About the Author
ALAN CHEUSE is book commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and produces and hosts "The Sound of Writing," the Center for the Book/NPR short story magazine of the air. Cheuse is the author of a memoir, Fall Out of Heaven; two novels, The Bohemians and The Grandmothers' Club (reissued in 1994 by SMU Press); and two story collections, Candace and The Tennessee Waltz (reissued in 1992 by SMU Press). His stories and reviews appear in the The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Chicago Tribune, and other literary venues. He teaches in the writing program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He and his wife, dancer Kristin O'Shee, make their home in Washington, D.C.