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Violet Clay

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Violet Clay had come to New York City from Charleston to take the art world by storm. But nine years, many affairs, and thousands of drinks later, the reality of her shadow life is made clear when she is fired from her job as a freelance illustrator. That same day, she hears that her beloved Uncle Ambrose, an unsuccessful writer, has shot himself.

As Violet collects the sha
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published 1978)
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A hardcover first edition of this was gifted to me by a kind coworker I barely knew when I left Chi-town for Iowa, and I finally now have gotten to it. It has a chick lit air about it (though maybe I'm just starting to give that label to any book about a single woman that even briefly mentions her failed affairs) but it has this earnest side about becoming an artist that at times was too earnest for me and at others seemed dark and deep. On the whole I enjoyed it.
Della Scott
I registered a book at! is so far my favorite Gail Godwin novel, and that's saying a lot, because I like Gail Godwin. Violet Clay, a North Carolina girl whose parents have both died tragically before she was old enough to remember, is raised indifferently by her genteely alcoholic grandmother and mentored by her charming and mercurical Uncle Ambrose. Uncle Ambrose disappears for long periods of time but when he's around, the two ar
"I set aside Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream. The jacket copy said it was about an artist. What I really wanted was a book about an artist and how that artist went to his work every day and wrestled with his demons. I longed for a blow-by-blow account of what really happened when he was in there by himself, without any romanticizing, or skimming over or faking."
~Violet Clay, from the novel of the same name.

By the time we read these lines on page 264 of Gail Godwin’s Violet Clay (1978, 339 page
Jeannette Barnes
Short, almost a novella, piercingly, echoingly, achingly sad--and a wonderful revelation, too, all in one simple little book about how a loving niece survives her adored uncle's suicide. Nope, not one I'd pick off the shelf at all, if I hadn't loved Gail Godwin's prose since first I read _The Odd Woman_ when I was still in high skool, f'heaven's sake, in 1972, go figure.

This is a lesson in writing well--and yes, in life, in love.

Jamie Archer
I've read a few other of Godwin's novels that I really enjoyed. This book had a completely different writing style that I wasn't sold on. I really wanted to love this novel as I very much identified with the protagonist, but unfortunately, I can't say I do. It took me a really long time to finish it. While parts of the story pulled me in, other parts did not. I would give this 3.5 stars.
Phoebe Kate Foster
A troubling novel about creative people and the forces (external and internal) that derail them from realizing their potential. Familiar territory, but nicely done from a feminine POV. Not a fully realized work, but there's enough here to keep you reading. Godwin has the rare ability to suck you into her books even if they aren't quite up to par.
Aylin Gay
I liked how Violet chose a path for herself that was in contrast with what most women were doing at the time. She struggles but her journey is gripping and makes you pick up the book to find out how it is going to end. Gail Godwin does a superb job of creating a multi-faceted believable character.
One of my friends at work recommended this author. I like finding new authors, so I went to my library and checked out Violet Clay. The characters in this psychological journey of a struggling artist in the 1960s and 70s are complex and the novel is well-written. I will read more books by Gail Godwin.
Love Godwin's books, however, this is not a favorite.
3.5 stars. Great writer, want to read more of her.
A decent read by Gail Godwin, exploring the difficulties of identity that a young woman faces.
Jacqueline marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
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Gail Kathleen Godwin is an American novelist and short story writer. She has published one non-fiction work, two collections of short stories, and eleven novels, three of which have been nominated for the National Book Award and five of which have made the New York Times Bestseller List.

Godwin's body of work has garnered many honors, including three National Book Award nominations, a Guggenheim Fe
More about Gail Godwin...
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