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Blue Nude

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  360 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Rosner tells the story of a German artist and his Israeli model, the moral implications of their relationship and the lasting impact of the Holocaust.
Paperback, 200 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Gallery Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Kathleen Hulser
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A model sculpts the air with her body. Unlikely subject for novel-length treatment, but in the hands of a poet, the relationship between body and absence, pose and pencil is elegant philosophy. The model, an Israeli raised on a kibbutz who is scarred by her army service, maps her new identity in the empty spaces defined by her stances. "Hers was the art of remaining present even as she disappeared. Inhabiting her body and dreaming her way out of it." The artist, a nachgeboren, from Germany is al ...more
Brynne Betz
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
You breathe in the subtle scent. With greater force now, for some part of you desperately hungers for more. Your body turns floppy, its strength moving inward away from the surface, into the soul.

Blue Nude invites you to meet your essence. Its elixir races through your veins to tantalize your slumbering aches, those lost behind your self-constructed mirror.

Poetic, seductive and secretly devourable, Rosner has woven a tapestry with life's deepest, darkest, most life-affirming threads, giving her
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is as much a work of art as it is a book about art and artists. The language flows like water and the sum is much bigger than its parts. The book is very simple from the flow of plot but is packed with complexity and emotion behind the scenes. The book centers around two main characters, an artist and an artists' model. The artist, Danzig, is German and the model is Israeli and both have dark histories surrounding the Holocaust/WWII and the historical animosities between their cultures ...more
Rarely comes a book so beautifully written that you feel as if you are reading the textual version of a breathtaking painting. This book is that type of book, lyrical prose pregnant with deep emotions and meaning. The main characters carry within them pain and sorrow, some that has been passed down from the choices their parents made long before they were even born.

This novel is a story of labels, accents and the struggle of identifying with the past. Both, Danzig and Merav had childhood's marre
Charles Matthews
This review originally ran in the San Francisco Chronicle:

A German artist and an Israeli model meet in a San Francisco classroom. That's the set-up for Berkeley writer Elizabeth Rosner's novel Blue Nude, which tracks the growing fascination that each has with the other.

Both are stuck on the peripheries of their careers. Danzig, a 58-year-old painter who once had considerable success, is blocked creatively and supports himself by teaching. Merav, who is half his age, studied to be an artist, bu
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-favorite-read
Did you ever read a book that was so good, that you read it twice, back to back? Such was the case for me with Blue Nude, by Elizabeth Rosner. A short novel, just 200 pages, but a fantastic book that completely wowed me.

The story is about two artists -- initially strangers whose lives, past and present intersect after a chance meeting. Danzig is a 58 year old German-born painter. He was born days after WWII to a cold and abusive father and a submissive mother. Danzig and his sister Margot were w
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From my book review blog Rundpinne . These are my words and opinions and belong solely to me.

"Beautiful, poetic and written in a lyrical manner, Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner is an astonishingly brilliant novel about love, loss, and healing. Danzig is a German-born painter struggling day-to-day teaching others to paint, while he himself cannot. Will Merav, an Israeli born model who arrives in his class to pose, become the muse he has been looking for to reconnect, heal and resume painting? Both
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish-fiction
So thrilled to be taking this off of my "currently reading" shelf after a year!

I put off starting this book for various reasons along the way, but in the end I enjoyed it overall. It's pretty apparent from the get go that Rosner is a modernist (she lists Virginia Woolf and Michael Cunningham among her inspirations, as if one couldn't pick up on that from the strictly stream-of-consciousness POV points.) I love modernism too, and I thought it really served the middle of this story. I love how we
Once Upon a Twilight
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Danzig is a 58 year old washed up German artist who teaches his techniques at an art institute in San Francisco. Merav is young and a former Israili soldier turned model moves to California to forget about her past. She ends up filling a substitute position and ends up in Danzig’s art class as the muse. They are both trying to forget about there past it’s what brings them together.

It is a well written and fast paced novel. It has sexy art work, secrets, failed relationships, hope, World War II,
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was simply amazing. Rosen has a way with words. She has spectacular mastery over imagery and manages to sculpt each sentence carefully and lovingly, but naturally and forcefully at the same time. The subject matter is poignant as well. Danzig, a German painter, meets Merav, an Israeli artist and art model. No, they don't fall in love despite their differences, and no, it isn't simple. Inner struggles are revealed, but only to us, the readers. The characters remain distant and shielded. ...more
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving work of fiction! It explores, with gentle yet intense clarity, the ways in which two characters' personal histories emerge out of a haunting silence into the safe space created through their work together. A fierce German artist and the beautiful, young Israeli artist who has become his model negotiate a charged landscape of grief, fury, and despair, to see whether transformation is possible in the quiet, powerful realm of artistic creation. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Rosner's wr ...more
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sometimes here in the US we forget what constant warfare in Europe did to the populace, their children born during the war, and after. It's easy to acknowledge the scale of things such as the Holocaust, and not have to think about the repercussions for your family and their children and their children's children.

This book brings that back home, by having as main characters an older German artist (born just after the war) and an Israeli model (two generations after the war). A sexy, hypnotic, and
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was really a 4.5 for me. I enjoyed the way the author went back and forth in time and the reader uncovered the characters lives and connections in alternating layers. The juxtaposition of model/artist and their relationship/need for each other was an interesting sensual and emotional way to relate Danzig and Merav and their approaches to art. I loved the ending where Danzig's and Merav's feelings of emptiness (their personal blank canvases) were pushed towards a kind of completion, a feelin ...more
Aug 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
this was such a good book
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
BLUE NUDE BY Elizabeth Rosner is a historical fiction set in San Francisco and Point Reyes in the 21st century. It is well written and fast paced. It has secrets, truths coming to light, sexy art work, muse, artist, failed relationships, a former Israili soldier, a German Nazi descendent, despair, fear, hope, World War II, Holocaust story, guilt, and forgiveness. A German washed up artist and a former Israili soldier/model learn redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness together. Merav, the for ...more
I bought this on a whim from a clearance bin at Books-A-Million. I didn't have high expectations - in fact, I was unsure if it qualified as romance or fiction.

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised, especially by the lyrical, sometimes uncomfortable nature of the prose. That is how I prefer my "literary" fiction prose, after all. It flowed and swept across continents, reminding us of the discomfort of broken ideas and broken hearts, of old prejudices and new ones, of war and pain and creati
Sandra Oberbroeckling
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Nude. The story is compelling because it looks at aspects of WWII from the interesting perspective of a German man born after the war but whose family lived through it, as well as the perspective of a modern-day Jewish woman, two perspectives with which I am not familiar. As with her first novel, The Speed of Light, the author tells the story from the perspectives of the different characters. She also moves back and forth between past and present, revealing aspects of t ...more
Monty J Heying
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Regarding Barry S.'s comment...

He has a right to his opinion, of course, but...

Barry apparently seeks idealism rather than realism. Look around. The walls are dripping with relationships that don't go anywhere. Look at the divorce rates. I had no problem, relating to the book at all, and there are plenty of people like me who, on some level, seek love but don't know how to give or receive it. Or they attach so many conditions to it that love is blurred beyond recognition.

It would be nice if ever
I am not surprised that the author of this novel is also an award-winning poet because this work was extraordinarily poetic. The story flows beautifully, with the compelling tale being told with amazing, breath-taking, attention-holding descriptions of everything from the people to the scenes to art and more. It was very interesting reading about the artist who was born in Germany after the war, the son of a Nazi soldier, and had to grow up under the shadow of being a citizen of a country that w ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gem!
Stunningly sensual, emotional novel about guilt, desire, and forgiveness.
Blue Nude takes modern history's greatest atrocity and expresses its consequences- and a hope for redemption- in the lives of two people thrown together by accident.

Born in the shadow of postwar Germany, Danzig is a once-prominent painter, now teaching art in San Fransisco.He finds himself unable to create. When Mirav, an Israeli-born grand-daughter of a Holocaust survivor, becomes Danzig's model, both re
Stephanie Salerno
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Liked the attempt that was made to tell the story in a backward manner with flashbacks in the middle and bookending 'Present' sections. Parts of the story were touching, other tragic. Truth is, Michael Ondaatje's 'The English Patient' was written in a similar fashion and 1000x more effective. Easy read with difficult themes, gets you thinking in any case. The Prologue is very exciting, but by the end of the book, unless you read it in one sitting, it's hard to place the connection (I didn't read ...more
Carla Ford
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Survivors of tragedy must see everything forever after through different eyes, and this book starkly demonstrated this. The two main characters, Danzig and Merav, have both suffered the loss of loved ones through war,Merav directly and Danzig indirectly. Both are emotionally and artistically stunted, neither character generated much warmth of feeling in the reader, and maybe that was intentional on the part of the author. The overriding feeling in the novel was one of stark emotion, and maybe be ...more
Thaisa Frank
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An amazingly lyric novel about two people whose families were on either side of the Holocaust. One a German artist, whose parents were Nazis, the other an artists' model whose parents were Jewish. They brush up against each other in a subtle, understated way: She poses for him. Each provides a meditation, a mandala, about the war. Without saying what they are thinking and without some classic expectations, the two each help the other resolve some piercing questions about their identity, their h ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
The line in the goodreads summary "moral implications of their relationship" is utter tosh. That implication of morality doesn't figure into this transformation book.

This is a book about the space in between roots and reaching personal's not about the realization itself. It's the thoughts that inform decision, not the decision; the history behind choice, not the choice itself... so if you are looking for clap-bang plot and conclusion this book will frustrate you. It has a diffe
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm completely fascinated with books centering on art, and this one was no exception, starring an art professor and the young woman who comes to be his model and muse. I loved the cultural tension here, highlighted by devastating events from history, and I adored the character development present in at least one of these individuals. One of them will not be making the same mistake this time, that's for sure. I need to obtain this book and keep it so I may read it over and over in the future. It' ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable, poetic novel about an older German-American art professor who has been blocked and unable to paint for 5 years and the young Israeli model/artist who poses for him and reinspires him. So much of the story is about painting, so I thoroughly enjoyed that. It's a quiet, small book, beautifully written with wonderful character develeopment. It's inspiring, with themes of self-discovery and finding freedom from difficult pasts.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it

I very much enjoyed this story of Danzig, an aging bitter German artist who can no longer "create", and Merav, the talented Israeli nude model who "ran away" from her home country. The story jumps through time and point of view but is wonderfully engaging and quite moving - there is such a striking juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness, history and art. Its a short and easy read that i couldn't put it down.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
BLUE NUDE is a book I go back to over and over. Its beautiful lyricism never disappoints, nor does the story of Danzig and Merav. In the most efficient literary manner, Rosner gives us everything we need to know about two improbable lives that cross paths far from their pasts. Would that all of life would find the resolve we find in Rosner's story of love and transcendence. This small book teaches and heals on so many levels. Every time I read it again, it feels like a gift to myself.
Aug 27, 2010 added it
A German art teacher with a past; a life model from Israel..and how their meeting disturbs and ultimately provides resolution and healing. There are some powerful images in this book and I was especially affected by the story of the artist's sister, born before the war, and conscious of her father's participation in the war on the wrong side, and the artist, born after the war, and totally rejecting of his country and his parents.
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Only on page 52 but already drawn in. Upon completion I will say that it certainly held my attention because I read it in two days with little reading time. The jumping back & forth through time was a bit distracting to me although I see why she did it. I also don't enjoy reading about suicide since my life has been touched by that particular tragedy and I don't need any reminders as I already think about it too often.
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Elizabeth's first book of non-fiction is launching on September 1, 2017. "SURVIVOR CAFE: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory" features a compelling blend of personal narrative, interviews, and extensive research about the inter-generational aftermath of war, genocide, and violence. The book has already received dazzling pre-publication reviews, and Rosner's important work promises to ...more
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