Black & White
By Dani Shapiro
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400032129, 272pp.)
Publication Date: June 10, 2008
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Clara Brodeur has spent her entire adult life pulling herself away from her famous mother, the renowned and controversial photographer Ruth Dunne, whose towering reputation rests on the unsettling nude portraits she took of her young daughter.
At age eighteen, sick of her notoriety as “the girl in the pictures,” Clara fled New York City, settling and making her own family in small-town Maine. But years later, when Ruth reaches out from her deathbed, Clara suddenly finds herself drawn back to the past she thought she had escaped. From the beloved author of Family History and Slow Motion, a spellbinding novel that asks: How do we forgive those who failed to protect us?
Dani Shapiro is the author of four acclaimed novels, Family History, Playing with Fire, Fugitive Blue, and Picturing the Wreck, and the best-selling memoir Slow Motion. She teaches in the graduate writing program at The New School, and has written for TheNew York Times, Granta, Elle, and Ploughshares, among other magazines. She lives with her husband and son in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
- What does the book's title suggest about life's absolutes? Is it possible for moral absolutes to exist—and to survive—in a family?
“Spellbinding . . . provocative, hypnotic . . . spot-on authentic. A cool depiction of a mother and daughter's fraught and fiery relationship.” —USA Today“Enthralling, fast-paced and a great read. Black & White presents knotty, compelling issues that Shapiro examines intelligently.” —The Miami Herald“Shapiro's central characters are expertly rendered: both the damaged Clara, whose childhood trust in and love for her mother was abused, and Ruth, whose love for her daughter and her art were so inextricably linked that they became interchangeable.”—Elle“Uncompromising storytelling. . . . The ideas Shapiro grapples with resonate, and she raises trenchant and enduring questions that resist easy answers.” —Los Angeles Times“Funny and tragic. . . . Perfectly displays Shapiro's commanding craftsmanship...Shapiro does something rather thrilling with her story: she gets it just right. —The Washington Post