Black & White
At age eighteen, sick of her notoriety as “the girl in the pictures,” Clara fled New York City, settling and making her own family...more
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The idea of a mother putting her art first as well as the question of exploitation is interesting, along with the question of privacy - who has the rights to these pictures, really? But al...more
Black and White is about Clara, a woman intent on protecting her young daughter Sam from learning the truth about her grandmother Ruth, a famous artist who used Clara by exploiting her naked body as art in the form of photography. When Ru...more
And it was the equivalent of staying in bed and watching a bad part-Lifetime original movie, part bad indie film. I mean, the bitchy, size two, angry sister and the sister who was the subject of so many provocative photos, taken by her mother. Her mother who is now dying of cancer. Don't they all?
Ruth Dunne. And no one in the book thought to connect her to Joan Didion...more
What was wrong with this book was that... there wasn't anything wrong with this book. The book just wasn't... much of anything. It lacked the humor and complexity to engage, the originality and creativity to surprise. It was good in every way an average person looks good: you're not drawn in and...more
The story starts with Clara a women who has established herself within the routine of a normal life. She has a loving husband, and a beautiful nine year old daughter. She resides in a sleepy town, safe away from civi...more
But the ending a little too neat and tidy for me, and one other thing, minor but you know when something just bugs you. I didn't like the title of this boo...more
I thought the book "Black & White" was a very excellent book. The characters were well developed and Shapiro's descriptions of the various scenes, especially the photo shoots, were exceptional. I could easily imagine the characters and the scenes in my mind. There are many reviews on this book so I won't clutter up the page with more detail except to reveal that the story focuses on the relationship between the mother, Ruth Dunne, a noted photographer a...more
I found the entire idea of the book (of a mother who takes provocative photos of her daughter/muse) to be intriguing and disturbing, but some of the things I wanted from this book as the story unfolded never came to fruition.
The story's of Clara's past - the memories of particular photographs/photo shoots with her mother - were compelling and vivid, and each time the story returned to the past I was, once again, hooked. But those moments came after long scenes in t...more
Black and White is the first of Dani Shapiro's novels I've read, and I found it riveting. The excellent writing is very descriptive, which allowed my mind to be fully transported to the two main settings, an L.L. Bean version of a Maine island in winter and the black-clad gallery world of Manhattan. The rich texture of Shapiro's writing shines through with minute detail. She creates nearly every scene with a 360-degree view. This quality added to my ability to imagine the e...more
Having said this, I'm glad that I read it. It takes me out of my comfort zone and if nothing else, it is a very discussable book.
It all begins when Clara receives a phone call in the middle of the night. Her mother is sick & dying and Clara's sister, Robin, is callin...more
This was an interesting book. I really enjoyed reading this, even as my emotions were on a churning roller-coaster ride.
The main question here is...what constitutes "Art" and what constitutes child abuse?
Clara has been away from NYC, her mother and all the life she has known (but not the memories and the pain the continually cause) for over 15 years when she gets a desperate call from her sister begging her for her help with their mother who is dying.
And so begins a j...more
Dani Shapiro "has developed a specialty in writing about difficult mother-daughter bonds" (San Francisco Chronicle). Yet while critics agreed that the relationship between Clara and her mother Ruth (who is loosely based on the photographer Sally Mann) presents a rich opportunity, they disagreed over Shapiro's execution. Those praising the novel found the characters well drawn, but others thought the novel uneven, with a compelling storyline weighed down by the predictability of Clara's emotional...more
This was very well written and thought provoking.
Clara Brodeur has spent her entire adult life pulling herself away from her famous mother, the renowned and controversial photographer Ruth Dunne, whose towering reputation rests on the unsettling nude portraits she took of her young daughter.
At age eighteen, sick of her notoriety as “the girl in the pictures,” Clara fled New York City, settling and making her own family in small-town Maine. But years later, when Ruth reaches out from her deathbed, Clara s...more
The story begins when Clare learns of her mother's terminal illness after years of estrangement and is called "home" by her...more
Listen to Black and White on y...more
It is a quick read and worth the couple hours it took me to get through it.
Shapiro's novel is perfectly enjoyable to read but hardly memorable. It's attempt at being provactive isn't strong enough to hold up through the novel. Perhaps the author cared too much about...more
She lives with her husband and young son in Litchfield County, Connecticut.