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9781646220762

Contradiction Days An Artist on the Verge of Motherhood

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781646220762

  • ISBN10:

    1646220765

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2023-07-25
  • Publisher: Catapult

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

For readers of Rachel Cusk and Maggie Nelson, the rapturous memoir of a soon-to-be-mother whose obsession with the reclusive painter Agnes Martin threatens to upend her life

Five months pregnant and struggling with a creative block, JoAnna Novak becomes obsessed with the enigmatic abstract expressionist painter Agnes Martin. She is drawn to the contradictions in Martin’s life as well as her art—the soft and exacting brushstrokes she employs for grid-like compositions that are both rigid and dreamy. But what most calls to JoAnna is Martin’s dedication to her work in the face of paranoid schizophrenia.

Uneasy with the changes her pregnant body is undergoing, JoAnna relapses into damaging old habits and thought patterns. When she confides in her doctor that she’s struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, he tells her she must stop being so selfish, given she has a baby on the way, and start taking antidepressants. Appalled by his patronizing tone and disregard of her mental health history, JoAnna instead turns to Martin for guidance, adopting the artist's doctrine of joyful solitude and isolation.

JoAnna heads to Taos, where Martin lived for decades, and gives herself three weeks to model her hermetic existence: phone off, email off, no talking to her husband, no touching the dog. Out of a deep, solitary engagement with a remarkable artist’s body of work emerges an entirely new way for JoAnna to relate to the contradictions of her own body and face up to the joys and challenges of impending motherhood.

Author Biography

JoAnna Novak's short story collection Meaningful Work won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently New Life, and a novel, I Must Have You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and other publications. She is a co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook publisher, Tammy



 

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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