RaveThe Arts FuseTo read The Mirror and the Palette is to be reminded why art history is such a compelling subject ... In lively prose, author Jennifer Higgie touches on all of these bases, taking us through a varied terrain while advancing her illuminating thesis ... Throughout the book, Higgie persuasively emphasizes self-portraiture as a mode of self-expression. She studies individual works closely and captures the mood and motivation behind each. Sometimes her interpretation is idiosyncratic; another viewer could read something very different into the picture. Her writing is at its most emotionally evocative, even lyrical, when she imagines multitudes of women in their tiny attics and dimly lit studios, looking at themselves and deciding how they want to be remembered ... By skillfully balancing the historical and the imaginative, The Mirror and the Palette is not only a delight to read, but inspirational.
Marc Petitjean, trans. by Adriana Hunter
PositiveThe Arts FuseIn fluid, sometimes idiosyncratic prose, Petitjean recreates Kahlo’s experiences. He draws from documented facts, but speculates as well ... Petitjean, a filmmaker and photographer, brings a visual acuity to his writing, vividly describing color and movement as well as artistic and architectural details. That pictorial sense also informs his insights into Kahlo and her work, which is the book’s impressive accomplishment ... Petitjean is at his best when he provides...illuminating analysis. He moves seamlessly from describing an intimate scene to discussing Kahlo’s art and its significance ... Predictably, Petitjean is not able to unlock all the secrets of his father’s heart. Even with all his thoughtful reconstructions and and research in libraries and archives, crucial questions remain. He tries to answer as many as best he can, but sometimes he must make sense of the unknowable...
PositivePloughshares\"... a fresh and surprisingly personal look at three centuries of mothering in Europe and North America ... Knott... has reached deep into archival material for stories of how mothers of the past spent their days ... Knott combines anecdote, close observation, imagination, and her own experience for a window into the often mundane, frustrating and bewildering job of mothering.\
RavePloughsharesWith candor and humility, and language that is reflective, nuanced and almost lyrical at times, [Bernard] invites us to join her and contemplate what we would do if we were in her shoes.
RavePloughshares\"...he ruminates, putting her subjects down and picking them up again, not quite settling anywhere for long. She lets her mind wander, as one does on a wasted day. Readers familiar with her work will recognize the confident tone and poetry-infused language ... As Hampl wanders through memory, she explores the meaning of writing, and distinguishes between its inherently expressive nature and what she considers the more limited range of expression of art and music. Regardless, no other medium more accurately reflects Montaigne’s duality of consciousness.. And yet, for all its intellectual architecture, this is, at heart, a love letter to her husband and a reminder that wasting time with loved ones is not wasting time at all.\