Amedeo Modigliani, embittered and unrecognized genius, dies of meningitis on a cold January day in Montparnasse in 1920. Jeanne Hébuterne, his young wife and muse, follows 48 hours later, falling backwards through a window. Now a ghost, Jeanne drifts about the studio she shared with Modigliani—for she was not only his favorite model, but also an artist whose works were later shut away from public view after her demise. Enraged, she watches as her belongings are removed from the studio and her identity as an artist seemingly effaced for posterity, carried off in a suitcase. Thus begins Loving Modigliani, retelling the story of Jeanne Hébuterne’s fate as a woman and an artist through three timelines and three precious objects stolen from the studio: a diary, a bangle, and a self-portrait of Jeanne depicted together with Modi and their daughter. A century later, Jeanne Hébuterne’s artwork will be rescued from oblivion.
Linda Lappin is a prize-winning poet, novelist, travel writer, literary translator and writing teacher who divides her time between Italy and the USA. She has published four novels, The Etruscan, Katherine’s Wish, Signatures in Stone, which won the 2014 Daphne Du Maurier Award for mystery writing, and Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne. (2020)
Her creative writing book: The Soul of Place: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci published by Travelers Tales in 2015 won the gold medal in the Nautilus Awards in the field of creativity. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writing Workshop. For her work in literary translation, she received the Poggioli Prize from PEN and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.