Picture Palace

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Ballantine Books, 1979 - Art - 344 pages
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World-famous photographer Maude Coffin Pratt has pointed her lens at the beautiful, obscure, and obscene, and at the private places and public parts of the famous, from Gertrude Stein to Graham Greene. When the seventy-year-old Maude rummages through her archives in preparation for a triumphant retrospective, the resurrected images unleash a flood of suppressed memories--of her extraordinary life, her celebrated subjects, and the dark, painful secret at the core of her existence.

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User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Learn about photography and meet a brash woman in love with her brother. A novel of obsession, art, and incest. Maude reminds me a bit of Gloria Swanson's character Norma Desmond ("It's the pictures that got small.") in _Sunset Boulevard_. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Smiley - LibraryThing

One of Theroux's best novels. Read full review


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About the author (1979)

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, Paul Theroux's writing reflects his relatively footloose life. Though known primarily as a travel writer, Theroux's literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award; The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Award; Saint Jack (1973), filmed in 1979; and Doctor Slaughter (1984), filmed as Half Moon Street in 1987. Although Theroux has also written general travel books and books about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. He has remarked that "ever since childhood, when I lived within earshot of the Boston and Maine, I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I was on it. Those whistles sing bewitchment; railways are irresistible bazaars." Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia. His second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China (1989), won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. Theroux's leisure interest in rowing perhaps accounts in part for his latest book, The Happy Isles of Oceania (1992). He traveled to 51 islands and 1 continent by cargo ship, train, and collapsible kayak. He explored obscure coastal nooks, juts, and islets and included, according to an article in the National Geographic Traveler, ". . . summary lessons on the concept of South Sea paradises, cargo cults, cannibalism, privately owned islands, missionaries, Thor Heyerdahl, diet, and colonialism.

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