Other books byJulia Blackburn
The Emperor's Last Island
A Journey to St. Helena
In 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on St. Helenad surreal exile that would last until his death six years later. "A resonant meditation on exile, fame, the stories we tell about ourselves (and) the bigger stories we tell about our great figures."--Los Angeles Times Book Review.
The Book of Color
In the late 19th century, an English missionary arrives on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, intent on wiping our fornication among the natives. Instead he incurs a curse that strikes first his dark-skinned wife, then his son and grandson. But is the curse supernatural--or a white man's guilty fascination with an alien new world? "A hypnotic, cryptic, haunting exploration of the power of memory."--Boston Globe.
Old Man Goya
In 1792, when he was forty-seven, the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya contracted an illness that left him stone deaf. Yet he continued to interact with the world and to create, spending the next thirty-five years in a world emptied of sound but bursting with images of pageantry, cruelty, and pathos. In this brilliant, idiosyncratic book – a kaleidoscope of biography, memoir, history, and meditation – Julia Blackburn vividly imagines the artist’s world during this time. She recreates the artist’s friendships and love affairs and breathes life into the subjects of his paintings: an ethereally lovely duchess; the spoiled grotesques of the Bourbon court; the atrocities of the Napoleonic wars. Old Man Goya is a rare work of empathy and imagination, a stunning portrait of the mind and life of a great artist.
The Leper's Companions
In this fascinatingly imaginative novel, Julia Blackburn has decimated all the rules, creating a magical tale that is part fable, part allegory, part present, part past, and wholly genuine and poetic. The unnamed protagonist has recently lost someone she loved, and her solution is to abandon the present, and the overwhelming pain. The seamless narrative lands her in a medieval seaside village where mermaids wash ashore, devils haunt in packs, a child is born with the head of a fish, and where one day, quite out of nowhere, there emerges a sage and wandering leper. The leper leads a small group of the villagers, including the protagonist, on a journey to Jerusalem, a harrowing pilgrimage that compels all the travelers to confront their deepest selves. Exquisite and lyrical, The Lepers Companions is a heart-rending tale by one of our most fiercely original storytellers.