Jennifer Kurdyla is a freelance editor, writer, and collaborator with an extensive background in fiction, narrative nonfiction, and prescriptive and wellness-based nonfiction. Most recently, she was an editor at The Experiment, where she acquired wellness, self-help, and medical narrative nonfiction and plant-based cookbooks. From 2011 to 2017, she was an editor at Alfred A. Knopf, where she worked on internationally best-selling fiction and nonfiction including works by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri, James Salter, and debut novelist Weike Wang.
Jennifer approaches editing like a yoga pose: from the ground up, with lots of sweat and even more breathing to bring life into a story. In her various editorial roles, she has done her fair share of yoga-like editing, honing a keen eye for unique narratives that challenge traditions of form, setting, and voice. She’s been a reliable confidant and source of both literary and emotional support for the writers she worked with as their manuscripts were built from the ground up, one sentence at a time. Her background in acquisitions also gives her a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes of the trade publishing world, having occupied seats at a Big 5 and an independent publishing house both. Regardless of whether a book is fiction or nonfiction, she asks the same questions of every project: What story am I trying to tell? Why does the world need to hear it? How can I reach the readers who need it most?
As a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia Publishing Course, Jennifer isn’t afraid of giving (or receiving) the kind of detailed criticism that asks writers to dig deep into their choices of topics, metaphors, words, and punctuation (exclamation points beware, but semicolons are welcome). Her deep respect for the power of language means that for her, being precise in these details is critical. In a well-crafted sentence, she finds pleasure as well as the ultimate proof that storytellers have the power to illuminate the darkest, most unknown parts of our shared experience.
Jennifer’s select booklist can be found below.
“Extraordinary...One of those books that makes you happy for literature.” - Junot Díaz, The Wall Street Journal
“Heller’s writing gives you a heartbreaking jolt, like a sudden wakening from a dream.” - The Seattle Times
Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley. But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.
“Moving...powerful...The kind of book that makes you feel like you’ve lived several times over. [It] contains so much of everything: anguish and joy and love and war and death and life, so much of being human.” - LA Review of Books
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent - from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.
The tale begins with Anjum - who used to be Aftab - unrolling a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard she calls home. We encounter the odd, unforgettable Tilo and the men who loved her - including Musa, sweetheart and ex-sweetheart, lover and ex-lover, their fates are as entwined as their arms used to be and always will be. We meet Tilo’s landlord, a former suitor, now an intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then we meet the two Miss Jebeens: the first a child born in Srinagar and buried in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard, the second found at midnight, abandoned on a concrete sidewalk in the heart of New Delhi.
As this ravishing, deeply humane novel braids these lives together, it reinvents what a novel can do and can be. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
“A triumph of storytelling. Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams.” - Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.
Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.
When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.
Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.
“Poignant...There is an important truth here - that life often denies us understanding, and sometimes all there is to hold on to is our ability to endure.” - NPR
Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan - charismatic and impulsive - finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.
But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind - including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.
Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.
“Dazzling...Funny and defiant, and simultaneously so wise...Brilliant.” - San Francisco Chronicle
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion - for each other and for their homeland.
“Vivid and intensely personal...Danticat has been fixing and unfixing her native country since the appearance of her first book...She is a writer...inhabited, a writer dedicated to opening her reader’s eyes to something she keeps trying to see for herself.” - San Francisco Chronicle
From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker comes a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.
Claire Limyè Lanmè - Claire of the Sea Light - is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life.
But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community of men and women whose individual stories connect to Claire, to her parents, and to the
“Any one of the five stories of The Engagements could have been a novel in itself. Taken together, though, they rather brilliantly represent different facets of marriage... Captivating.” - The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years - forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love - the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better, while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding - beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle
weddings - and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.
As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.
A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements
captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way - for better or for worse - these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
A Washington Post Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Ann Patchett on PBS NewsHour, Minnesota Public Radio, PopSugar, Maris Kreizman, The Morning News
Winner of Ploughshares’ John C. Zacharis Award
Winner of a Whiting Award
A Belletrist Amuse Book
Most Anticipated Novel of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly
“Chemistry starts as a charming confection and then proceeds to add on layers of emotional depth and complexity with every page.” - Ann Patchett
At first glance, the quirky, overworked narrator of Weike Wang’s debut novel seems to be on the cusp of a perfect life: she is studying for a prestigious PhD in chemistry that will make her Chinese parents proud (or at least satisfied), and her successful, supportive boyfriend has just proposed to her. But instead of feeling hopeful, she is wracked with ambivalence: the long, demanding hours at the lab have created an
exquisite pressure cooker, and she doesn’t know how to answer the marriage question. When it all becomes too much and her life plan veers off course, she finds herself on a new path of discoveries about everything she thought she knew. Smart, moving, and always funny, this unique coming-of-age story is certain to evoke a winning reaction.
“Entertaining...Muse is many things: a satire of New York’s social world, a portrait of publishing that is both love song and takedown, and an intriguing mystery.” - The New York Times Book Review
Paul Dukach is heir apparent at Purcell & Stern, one of the last independent publishing houses in New York, whose shabby offices on Union Square belie the treasures on its list. Working with his boss, the flamboyant Homer Stern, Paul learns the ins and outs of the book trade - how to work an agent over lunch; how to swim with the literary sharks at the Frankfurt Book Fair; and, most important, how to nurse the fragile egos of the dazzling, volatile authors he adores.
But Paul’s deepest admiration has always been reserved for one writer: poet Ida Perkins, whose audacious verse and notorious private life have shaped America’s contemporary literary landscape, and whose longtime publisher - also her cousin and erstwhile lover - happens to be Homer’s biggest rival. And when Paul, at last, has the chance to meet Ida at her Venetian palazzo, she entrusts him with her greatest secret - one that will change all of their lives forever.
Studded with juicy details only a quintessential insider could know, written with both satiric verve and openhearted nostalgia, Muse is a brilliant, haunting book about the beguiling interplay between life and art, and the eternal romance of literature.
Weezy Coffey’s parents had always told her she was the smart one, while her sister was the pretty one. “Maureen will marry well,” their mother said, but instead it was Weezy who married well, to a kind man and good father. Weezy often wonders if she did this on purpose - thwarting expectations just to prove her parents wrong.
But now that Weezy’s own children are adults, they haven’t exactly been meeting her expectations either. Her oldest child, Martha, is thirty and living in her childhood bedroom after a spectacular career flameout. Martha now works at J.Crew, folding pants with whales embroidered on them and complaining bitterly about it. Weezy’s middle child, Claire, has broken up with her fiancé, canceled her wedding, and locked herself in her New York apartment - leaving Weezy to deal with the caterer and florist. And her youngest, Max, is dating a college classmate named Cleo, a girl so beautiful and confident she wears her swimsuit to family dinner, leaving other members of the Coffey household blushing and stammering into their plates.
As the Coffey children’s various missteps drive them back to their childhood home, Weezy suddenly finds her empty nest crowded and her children in full-scale regression. With radiant style and a generous spirit, The Smart One is a story about the ways in which we never really grow up, and the place where we return when things go drastically awry: home.
Every page contains terrific sentences full of vivid, surprising descriptions...It’s a testament to Kaysen’s honesty that she won’t give false comfort to either her characters or her readers.” - The New York Times Book Review
“It was probably because I was so often taken away from Cambridge when I was young that I loved it as much as I did...”
So begins this novel-from-life by the best-selling author of Girl, Interrupted, an exploration of memory and nostalgia set in the 1950s among the academics and artists of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
London, Florence, Athens: Susanna, the precocious narrator of Cambridge, would rather be home than in any of these places. Uprooted from the streets around Harvard Square, she feels lost and excluded in all the locations to which her father’s career takes the family. She comes home with relief - but soon enough wonders if outsiderness may be her permanent condition.
Written with a sharp eye for the pretensions - and charms - of the intellectual classes, Cambridge captures the mores of an era now past, the ordinary lives of extraordinary people in a singular part of America, and the delights, fears, and longings of childhood.
“Magnificent...A major literary event...Salter, who has the gift of writing sentences that exactly reproduce what we feel and think in the moment we feel and think it, moves beyond that incomparable skill and does something even more difficult: He gives us his heart.” - The Huffington Post
From his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair - a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe - a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, what eludes him is love. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him - before setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.
Romantic and haunting, All That Is explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change. It is a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.
“Rollicking...A lively, generous story of shallow extravagance and human devotion.” - The Boston Globe
“A witty tongue-in-cheek frolic about what it means to be from really old money and what it's like to be crazy rich.” - Publishers Weekly
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
“Powerful...Waldman sustains her multiple plotlines with breathless confidence and descriptive panache.” - The New York Times Book Review
In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure - a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman - a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave.
“Strayed’s worldview - her empathy, her nonjudgment, her belief in the fundamental logic of people’s emotions and experiences despite occasional evidence to the contrary - begins to seep into readers’ consciousness in such a way that they can apply her generosity of spirit to their own and, for a few hours at least, become better people.” - New York Times Book Review
This bestselling book from the author of Wild collects the best of The Rumpus's Dear Sugar advice columns plus never-before-published pieces. Rich with humor, insight, compassion - and absolute honesty - this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.
Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you, you lose a family member, you can’t pay the bills - and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life, you get that plum job, you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar - the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild - is the person thousands turn to for advice.
“Captivating. Personal authenticity, gender politics, leaning into the light: whether writing a book or speaking one-to-one, Strayed seems, above all, unapologetically herself . . . The power of her words is palpable—and far-reaching.” - Abby Haglage, The Daily Beast
From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes - drawn from the wide range of her writings - that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive.
Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books and in her "Dear Sugar" columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. Her honesty, spirit, and ample supply of tough love have enabled many of us, even in the darkest hours, to somehow put one foot in front of the other - and be brave enough.
This book gathers, each on a single page, more than 100 of Strayed's indelible quotes and thoughts - "mini instruction manuals for the soul" that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.
From the best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, a powerful nonfiction debut - an “honest, engaging, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words.” - Kirkus Reviews
In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story - of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.
Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write - initially in her journal - solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.
“A writer of uncommon elegance and poise” - New York Times
“Enviable eloquence; each sentence is considered” - Sunday Times
How do you clothe a book?
In this deeply personal reflection, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri explores the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. Probing the complex relationships between text and image, author and designer, and
art and commerce, Lahiri delves into the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.”
"Embedding us in the intimacy of a friendship, the prose makes reflections that might seem common sense in the abstract feel like discoveries. The form of the letter also enacts what Adichie says is her one fixed beliefs: ‘Feminism is always contextual.’” - The New York Times Book Review
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, a new mother who wanted to know how to raise her baby girl to be a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response: fifteen invaluable suggestions - direct, wryly funny, and perceptive - for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. Filled with compassionate guidance and advice, it gets right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century, and starts a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
“Nuanced and rousing.” - Vogue
"An eloquent, stirring must-read for budding and reluctant feminists." - School Library Journal
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay - adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now - and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
“Patti Smith’s new book remains one of the best reading experiences I had this year...elliptical and fragmentary, weird and beautiful, and, at its core, a reckoning with loss." - Garth Risk Hallberg, The Millions
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.
Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today.
“I recommend this inspiring book to everyone around the world. None of us can escape sadness, loss, or life’s disappointments, so the best option is to find our Option B.” - Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner
From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor comes a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart - and her journal - to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere...and to rediscover joy.
“Dazzling...part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” - Los Angeles Times
“[Cisneros] has documented her life through a mélange of essay, poetry, and battle cry." - Oprah.com
From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades - and including never-before-published work - Cisneros has come home at last. Written with her trademark lyricism, in these signature pieces the acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street and winner of the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature shares her transformative memories and reveals her artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, A House of My Own is an exuberant celebration of a life lived to the fullest, from one of our most beloved writers.
“Cisneros captures the experience of grief with moving and visceral clarity. . . . Like the best bedtime stories, [Have You Seen Marie?] both honors the darkness around us and keeps the same darkness at bay.” - San Francisco Chronicle
“Cisneros’s gift of storytelling and Ester Hernández’s illustrations bring to life the story about death, grief, and the desire to move forward.” - Modern Latina
Have You Seen Marie? showcases the storytelling magic of Sandra Cisneros, beloved author of The House on Mango Street and winner of the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. This lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for adults is the tale of a woman's search, in the wake of her mother's death, for a missing cat - and a reminder that love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.
Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books
Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews
“Gratifying, spirited . . . a moving chronicle of an eminent research scientist’s life . . . It takes a passionate geobiologist with the soul of a poet to make us swoon in the face of computational amplitude." - The New York Times Book Review
Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life - but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
“A charming, generously illustrated, slim volume about two geniuses the likes of whom we have not seen in a while." - The New York Times Book Review
"An amply illustrated, inspiring homage that forges illuminating connections between two dynamos.” - Kirkus Reviews
Born a generation apart in the mid-1800s, Fortuny and Morris were seeming opposites: Fortuny a Spanish aristocrat thrilled by the sun-baked cultures of Crete and Knossos; Morris a member of the British bourgeoisie, enthralled by Nordic myths. Through their revolutionary inventions and textiles, both men inspired a new variety of art that is as striking today as when it was first conceived. In this elegant meditation, Byatt traces their genius right to the source.
Generously illustrated with the artists’ beautiful designs - pomegranates and acanthus, peacock and vine - among other aspects of their worlds, this marvel-filled book brings the visions and ideas of Fortuny and Morris to vivid life.