Margaret Hallissy is Professor of English with specialties in medieval literature, Irish literature, and the modern phenomenon of “book groups,” which have sprung up in communities throughout the nation. She has written numerous articles and scholarly books, including works on book group procedures and leadership as well as Irish and Irish-American fiction.
0102. LITERARY FICTION AND THE VISUAL ARTS: Thematic Readings
Literary Fiction And The Visual Arts: Thematic Readings
On “first Fridays” of each month, Professor Hallissy will lead a group of devoted readers in an informed, guided discussion of one book which follows a selected thread chosen for these sessions. This Fall that common thread for all four books is ART, which should be especially appropos for the inaugural season of The Frick Estate Lectures
Friday 9/6 The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt (9781476747248), a tale of “art world gender bias,” according to New York Times reviewer Fernanda Eberstadt, is set in the late twentieth century and focuses on the aptly-named Harriet Burden, who bears the burden of being a woman in a man’s world.
Friday 10/4 The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro (9781616203160) is based on the famous theft of art works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston, a crime which is as yet unsolved. “An engaging tale about art, cupidity, and a Faustian bargain” (Boston Globe reviewer Kathryn Lang), the novel is a window into the world of valuable yet vulnerable art collections.
Friday 11/1 How to Be Both by Ali Smith (9780307275257) puts an innovative spin on historical fiction. According to Guardian reviewer Laura Miller, the novel consists of two parts, one set in fifteenth-century Italy, and one in the recent past; either part can be read first, and both focus on “the life of an itinerant painter of the early Renaissance,” Francesco del Cossa.
Friday 12/6 The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (9781524742959), like the author’s earlier novels, centers on “the private lives of those who live and work in New York’s most intriguing buildings” (Kirkus Review), this time Grand Central Station, which once housed an art school. The protagonist, like the defunct art school and the terminal itself, has “seen better days” and needs restoration.