Whitney Otto Passion Dream Book, The

ISBN 13: 9780061096235

Passion Dream Book, The

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9780061096235: Passion Dream Book, The

The Passion Dream Book travels from the Italian Renaissance, when a girl spends her days spying on a famous young artist and experiences the divided love of wanting the artist and wanting to be the artist. Progressing to the early years of the 20th century, the novel follows the experiences of two artists, Romy March, a descendent of the Renaissance girl, and Augustine Marks.

Otto's novel is an imaginative mix of fact and fiction, history and story about the two enduring, occasionally conflicting passions of love and work. As Romy March and Augustine Marks migrate from place to place, separately and together, their love is their home and their home is each other.

The outsider lives they lead provide them with various living situations, including silent-era Hollywood, the Harlem Renaissance, Paris in the late 1920s and back to America. The novel touches on the migratory habits of artist colonies (and why they don't last), on race (since Romy and Augustine are of different races) and how one lives when tradition does not hold.

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Review:

In The Passion Dream Book Whitney Otto blends fiction and history to explore the tumultuous relationship between art and the lives artists chose in the service of their art. Otto weaves a story that shifts from the Italian Renaissance to the Harlem Renaissance of 1930s America. The novel--the second from the author of the well-loved How to Make an American Quilt--opens with the story of Guilietta Marcel, a young Florentine girl who spies on the artist Michelangelo while he sculpts the "David" in his studio and aspires herself to create art. Then we jump to the 20th century, where Romy March, a descendant of Guilietta, faces a related collection of difficult choices in the quest to become an artist herself.

About the Author:

Whitney Otto has a B.A in history and an M.F.A. in English from the University of California at Irvine. She is a native of California and currently lives with her husband, John, and son, Sam, in Portland, OR.

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Whitney Otto
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