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The Gravity of Birds


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About the Author

Tracy Guzeman lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review, and Glimmer Train Stories. The Gravity of Birds is her first novel.


Professor Dennis Finch based his academic career on the work of acclaimed painter Thomas Bayber, who stopped painting 20 years ago; he also became one of the artist's only friends. When Thomas reveals that there are still unknown paintings-a triptych of which the painter still owns the center panel-he asks Dennis and Stephen Jameson, a talented but socially inept art appraiser, to sell them. But first they must track down their subjects: Natalie and Alice, the Kessler sisters. Set alternately when the paintings were created, in 1963 and 1972 and in 2007, and told from the point of view of several characters, the story moves from art mystery to family history. VERDICT Debut author Guzeman takes her time revealing the story's heart, and those not interested in the art world may find their patience challenged. Sticking with the novel allows readers to experience its satisfying resolution. This work should appeal most to readers of literary fiction and those interested in fine art. [See Prepub Alert, 2/14/13.]-Nancy H. Fontaine, Norwich P.L., VT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"The Gravity of Birds is one of those rare, exquisitely written novels that haunt you long after you've finished the last page. Guzeman writes of both the fragility of the human spirit and its inner strength. The book unfurls like a hidden canvas, soaked with color, emotional longing, and a desire to make sense of what is often too painful to be said without the assistance of art. It is a novel not to be missed."--Alyson Richman, best-selling author of The Lost Wife
"Lovely! The Gravity of Birds is a warm-hearted, assured, and haunting debut. In prose that is always graceful and often breathtaking, Tracy Guzeman delivers a compelling story of the love of art, and the art of love."--Meg Waite Clayton, author of the national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters
"A lovely, mesmerizing novel. The Gravity of Birds combines the drama of warring sisters, the mystery of a missing painting, and the sorrow of lost love into a haunting elegy that will, like the artwork it describes, leave you breathless. The paintings and characters that Tracy Guzeman creates will seep into your imagination and take up permanent residence, changing the way you think about art."--Tiffany Baker, author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County and The Gilly Salt Sisters
"Tracy Guzeman's The Gravity of Birds is part mystery, part psychological drama and intriguing love story. This is a stunning debut. It's a brilliant tale, written in evocative language, and every page is pure seduction. I want to scream from the rooftops: read this book!"--Ellen Sussman "author of the New York Times bestseller French Lessons "

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