Close To Hugh by Marina Endicott

This is a brilliant book about complex relationships of love and friendship. At the core is Hugh, a 50-something man whose life is unravelling for physical and psychological reasons. The story is set in Peterborough and art (painting, installations art, and especially theatre) features prominently. The writing is very fine throughout.

The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson

The Family Fang - Kevin WilsonA fascinating story about parents and their two children, where the parents create performance pieces that involve their children as important players. The events are usually in public shopping malls. As adults, the children deal with the aftermath of their strange upbringing. The story is really about the power of art when art is in conflict with life and love.

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even by Chris F. Westbury

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even - Chris F. WestburyTwo men with OCD talk endlessly about art, first discussing a sculpture of Abraham and Isaac/Ishmael. But most of the book is about a road trip to Philadelphia to see the Marcel Duchamp art piece (the title of the book). Thus there is much discussion of Duchamp and his art. This book is a total hoot.

The Great Man – Kate Christensen

The Great ManOn one level, this is a great book about art in NY. But at its core, this is about relationships – the three women who were intimately involved in the life of a painter who has just died: his sister, wife and long-time lover. The story revolves around the different viewpoints of these three strong women, mostly from when they are old (70s-80s).