The Art of Youth

The Art of Youth Cover

The Art of Youth

Crane, Carrington, Gershwin, and the Nature of First Acts

By Nicholas Delbanco

New Harvest, Hardcover, 9780544114463, 205pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2013


"The Art of Youth" is a moving inquiry into the nature of artistic prodigies who did their major work at an early age. Renowned novelist Nicholas Delbanco gives us a triptych of indelible portraits: the American writer Stephen Crane (immortalized by "The Red Badge of Courage"); British artist Dora Carrington (called the most neglected serious painter of her time ); and the legendary composer George Gershwin ("Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess").
All three lived colorful, productive lives before dying early, at an average age of thirty-five. In this learned and elegant book, Delbanco discovers what it is we mourn in authors who pass away so young, and muses on his own life one marked by both early success and longevity.

About the Author
Nicholas Delbanco is the author of more than two dozen works of fiction and nonfiction including, most recently, Lastingness: The Art of Old Age. He is the Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Hopwood awards program and was for many years the director of the MFA program in creative writing.