Between Lives: An Artist and Her World

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 22, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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The life and times of one of our most enchanting artists; a twentieth-century fairy tale, lovingly remembered and luminously told.

Fourteen years ago, the artist Dorothea Tanning published Birthday, a collection of reminiscences. Now she has expanded it into a memoir of her journey through the last century as confidant, collaborator, and muse to some of its most inspired minds and personalities: a diverse assemblage that ranges from the fathers of dada and surrealism to Virgil Thompson, George Balanchine, Alberto Giacometti, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote, Joan Miró, James Merrill, and many more. At its center is the relationship, tenderly rendered, between Tanning and her famed husband, the enigmatic surrealist Max Ernst.

Whether recalling the poignant presence of her friend Joseph Cornell or simply marveling at the facades along a Venice canal, "their filmy reflections fluttering in the dirty canal like fragile altar cloths hung out to dry," Tanning's writing is beguiling, wry, and shot through with the same eye for pregnant detail and immanent magic that marks her art.

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BETWEEN LIVES: An Artist and Her World

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Syrupy prose flows thickly in this art-world autobiography.As the subtitle suggests, the American-born Tanning is a fairly well-known figure whose creative contributions to the surrealist movement ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DameMuriel - LibraryThing

A lot of this material appeared in the book Birthday some years before. The last few chapters, where Dorothea discusses her life after the death of Max Ernst, her newfound interest in poetry, the ... Read full review

Selected pages


Before and Always
Cactus and Stars
Paris with a Patina
In the Garden of France
Provence and a House
A Time Suspended

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About the author (2011)

Dorothea Tanning's painting and sculpture rank among the most inventive of any living American artist. Her poetry has appeared in The New Republic, Partisan Review, and The Paris Review, among many other publications, and was included in The Best American Poetry 2000. She lives in New York City.

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