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Robin Black's path through loss and survival delivered her to the writer's life. Agoraphobia, the challenges of parenting a child with special needs, and the legacy of a formidable father all shaped that journey. In these deeply personal and instructive essays, the author of the internationally acclaimed If I loved you, I would tell you this and Life Drawing explores the making of art through the experiences of building a life. Engaging, challenging, and moving, Crash Course is full of insight into how to write-and why.From "Autumn, 1972, A Moment at Which I Became a Writer":I sense, even now, the reverberations of a kind of shattering of my foundation and a quick rebuild, a change at a molecular level of who I understood myself to be. No longer someone who could look at another person without wondering what their life was like, but someone with a new curiosity about what people's stories might actually be.Robin Black is the author of the story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this and the novel Life Drawing, both critically acclaimed, and both published in multiple languages. She has developed a loyal, enthusiastic following for her essays on life and writing, online and in such publications as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and O Magazine. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the house is always open for their three grown children.
FINALIST FOR THE FRANK O'CONNOR SHORT STORY AWARDNOW WITH AN ADDITIONAL STORY.Heralding the arrival of a stunning new voice in American fiction, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This takes readers into the minds and hearts of people navigating the unsettling transitions that life presents to us all: A father struggles to forge an independent identity as his blind daughter prepares for college. A mother comes to terms with her adult daughter's infidelity. An artist mourns the end of a romance while painting the portrait of a dying man. Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This illuminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves. Look for the If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This discussion guide inside.Join the Circle for author chats and more.RandomHouseReadersCircle.com
"[Robin] Black is a writer of great wisdom, and illuminates, without undue emphasis, the flickering complexity of individual histories. . . . [Her] taut, elegant prose is both effective and affecting. . . . Life Drawing is at once quiet and memorable. This makes it far from fashionable, and all the more to be applauded. Its author pursues real and vital questions. Astringent and wise, Black is not afraid to discomfit her readers. This novel, like life, is uneasy: what a relief."--Claire Messud, The Guardian (UK) In Life Drawing, her gorgeously written first novel, Robin Black unfolds a fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman, and of a couple's life--the betrayals and intimacies, the needs and regrets, the secrets that sustain love and the ones that threaten to destroy it. Augusta and Owen have moved to the country, and live a quiet, and rather solitary life, Gus as a painter, Owen as a writer. They have left behind the city, and its associations to a troubled past, devoting their days to each other and their art. But beneath the surface of this tranquil existence lies the heavy truth of Gus's past betrayal, an affair that ended, but that quietly haunts Owen, Gus and their marriage. When Alison Hemmings, a beautiful British divorcée, moves in next door, Gus, feeling lonely and isolated, finds herself drawn to Alison, and as their relationship deepens, the lives of the three neighbors become more and more tightly intertwined. With the arrival of Alison's daughter Nora, the emotions among them grow so intense that even the slightest misstep has the potential to do irrevocable harm to them all With lyrical precision and taut, suspenseful storytelling, Black steadily draws us deeper into a world filled with joys and darkness, love and sorrows, a world that becomes as real as our own. Life Drawing is a novel as beautiful and unsparing as the human heart. Praise for Life Drawing "Suffused with a remarkably sustained emotional intensity . . . Every intimate contour of the couple's relationship is mapped by Black with devastating accuracy. Full of insight into the fragility of marriage, this is a memorable read."--The Sunday Times (London) "A gorgeously written portrait of the intimate workings of a long-term relationship."--Good Housekeeping (UK) "Fine-tuned and exactly observed . . . With such well-rounded characters and a highwire level of suspense, the novel builds to a devastating resolution."--The Daily Mail (UK) "Black's command of the story carries us swiftly through ever more dangerous rapids. . . . She captures the various pains and pleasures of love, and how betrayal distorts and damages, with superb subtlety."--BBC "A brutal yet tender look at marriage and creative partnership that hums with thriller-like tension . . . It might be the nearest thing to a perfect novel that I have ever read."--The Bookseller (UK) "Black's characters are three-dimensional, and her depiction of their relationships, particularly between the two women, is masterly. An astute inquiry into relationships and betrayal, this novel is nerve-wracking yet irresistibly readable."--Publishers WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.