Our next pick for The WD Book Club will be Feast Your Eyes, by author Myla Goldberg.
Feast Your Eyes, framed as the catalogue notes from a photography show at the Museum of Modern Art, tells the life story of Lillian Preston: “America’s Worst Mother, America’s Bravest Mother, America’s Worst Photographer, or America’s Greatest Photographer, depending on who was talking.” After discovering photography as a teenager through her high school’s photo club, Lillian rejects her parents’ expectations of college and marriage and moves to New York City in 1955. When a small gallery exhibits partially nude photographs of Lillian and her daughter Samantha, Lillian is arrested, thrust into the national spotlight, and targeted with an obscenity charge. Mother and daughter’s sudden notoriety changes the course of both of their lives and especially Lillian’s career as she continues a life-long quest for artistic legitimacy and recognition.
Narrated by Samantha, Feast Your Eyes reads as a collection of Samantha’s memories, interviews with Lillian’s friends and lovers, and excerpts from Lillian’s journals and letters–a collage of stories and impressions, together amounting to an astounding portrait of a mother and an artist dedicated, above all, to a vision of beauty, truth, and authenticity.
“This ambitious novel about a pioneering midcentury photographer draws from the real-life work of Sally Mann, Diane Arbus and Berenice Abbott.”” –The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice
“Inventive … Goldberg offers a searching consideration of the way that the identities and perceptions of a female artist shift over time.” –The New Yorker
“With cleverness and imagination, vivid historical detail and great heart, this catalog tells the story of Lillian’s life…Lillian Preston also represents an exciting turn of events in the career of her creator, Myla Goldberg, [who] has reemerged with a stunning success, what feels like the book she was always meant to write…Through its intense focus on a series of photographs, a group of quirky characters and a particular time in our cultural history, Feast Your Eyes becomes a universal and profound story of love and loss.” –Marion Winik, Vogue
“A mother-daughter story, an art-monster story, and an exciting structural gambit.” –Lit Hub
Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of Feast Your Eyes, The False Friend, Wickett’s Remedy, and Bee Season, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a winner of the Borders New Voices Prize, a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, and was adapted to film and widely translated.
As always, Book Club members (meaning you just show up) will enjoy a 10% discount on the next book club title and on every item they’ll ask for at the bar during the Book Club meeting.
Let’s meet up and talk Literature.