Greenwich Village, 1959. Claire Bishop sits for a portrait—a gift from her husband—only to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire’s suicide. Haunted by the painting, Claire is forced to redefine herself within a failing marriage and a family history of madness. Shifting ahead to 2004, we meet West, a young man with schizophrenia obsessed with a painting he encounters in a gallery: a mysterious image of a woman’s suicide. Convinced it was painted by his ex-girlfriend, West constructs an elaborate delusion involving time-travel, Hasidism, art-theft, and the terrifying power of representation. When the two characters finally meet, in the present, delusions are shattered and lives are forever changed.
“Daring, precise, and linguistically acrobatic, this novel brings a history of America alive, from the war protests in the sixties to turn-of-the21st-century art theft. A fearless portrayal of madness and its consequences, Carmiel Banasky's debut novel tracks the life of a suicidal housewife and her unlikely, schizophrenic counterpart. This is a new writer to savor, reminiscent of Nicole Krauss, Michael Chabon and Andy Sean Greer.”
—Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin
editing & coaching.
Sound matters. I am delighted when I get to help clients write sentences that shine, characters that feel true and relatable, and story arcs that are surprising yet inevitable. I am proud to have helped friends edit their award-winning books -- including Phil Klay's Redeployment (winner of the National Book Award), Scott Cheshire's High as the Horses' Bridles, and Bill Cheng's Southern Cross the Dog -- and to have helped clients feel confident and learn to edit their work with new eyes. I love writing, reading, and helping others with both literary and genre fiction, and am especially excited about work that bridges the two. I coach and edit fiction writers, memoirists, and screenwriters, investigating how narrative elements inform one another. Working together will feel like a one-on-one MFA workshop experience.
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CARMIEL BANASKY is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” She was recently staffed on Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy's new half-hour Amazon series, UNDONE, writing one episode. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Glimmer Train, LA Review of Books, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR, among other places. She has taught Creative Writing at Hunter College (where she earned her MFA), UCLA Extension, and numerous other programs. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Arctic Circle, and other foundations. Prior to LA, she spent four years on the road at writing residencies, including a stint on a ship in the Arctic, studying and writing about climate change. As a young political organizer, she tried -- and failed -- to open a Planned Parenthood in Mississippi. She is from Portland, Oregon.