In this atmospheric and enthralling novel, Katherine Govier tells the story of the world's greatest living bird artist as he finally understands the paradox embedded in his art: that the act of creation is also an act of destruction.Running two steps ahead of the bailiff, alternately praised and reviled, John James Audubon set himself the audacious task of drawing, from nature, every bird in North America. The result was his masterpiece, The Birds of America. In June 1833, partway through his mission, he enlisted his son, Captain Bayfield of the Royal Navy, and a party of young gentlemen to set sail for nesting grounds no ornithologist had ever seen, in the treacherous passage between Newfoundland and Labrador. Creation explores the short, stormy summer throughout which the captain became the artist's foil, measuring stick, and the recipient of his long-held secrets. It is an exploration of that fateful expedition, a probing and imaginative narrative that fills in a gap in the visionary naturalist's well-documented life.
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Katherine Govier is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, who was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. She has received many honors, among them the Marian Engel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award for her novel Hearts of Flame. She has lived in Washington D.C. and London, and currently lives in Toronto.From Booklist:
Canadian novelist Govier became intrigued with the tantalizing ellipsis in the record of John James Audubon's heroic if maniacal quest to paint as many bird species as he could find in the wilderness of North America. The undocumented interlude is the summer of 1833, when Audubon traveled along the treacherously stony, fog-beset, mosquito-infested coast of Labrador. Taking her cues from Audubon's stunning and dramatic portraits of the resilient birds of this hard land, Govier offers a bewitching and thought-provoking imagining of what might have transpired in Audubon's risky life, postulating a scandalous love affair with a woman painter and an unlikely friendship with the orderly Captain Henry Bayfield, who is painstakingly charting the hazardous coast. Keenly sensitive to the implications of Audubon's illegitimate Haitian birth, and fascinated by the terrible paradoxes that haunted him--that he kills what he loves most, wild birds, in order to study and paint them, and that although he loves his wife, he seeks romance elsewhere--Govier artfully conjures a brilliantly insightful and ravishingly sensuous tale of adventure and longing and portrays a seer of epic spirit who knows that his beloved feathered creatures and their wild environs are as imperiled as they are spectacular. Donna Seaman
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Descrizione libro Random House of Canada, Limite, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110679311823