What if you had a passion for art but were torn between the love a man who thought he knew what was best for you and your own sense of who you were and what you needed to do? That was just one dilemma faced by Georgia O'Keeffe on her journey from unknown art teacher to world icon:
I bought this house for the door. The house itself was a ruin, but I had to have that door. Over the years, I've painted it many times, all different ways: abstract, representational, blue, black, brown. I've painted it in the hot green of summer, in the dead of winter, clouds rushing past it, a lone yellow leaf drifting down. I painted the door open only once. Just before he died. In every picture after, it was closed.—Georgia by Dawn Tripp (Random House, 2016, chapter 1)
- Setting: United States, twentieth century
- Circumstances: The novel focuses on Georgia O'Keeffe and her relationship with photographer Alfred Stieglitz. But it also introduces us to the developing artist, before she came fully into her own and started producing the work we most often associate with her. We learn of her loves and her frustrations, her family and her dreams.
- Genre: historical fiction; literary
- Characters: artist Georgia O'Keeffe; photographer Alfred Stieglitz; their families; famous writers and artists, especially of the 1920s and 1930s, in New York City and elsewhere; friends and other people in O'Keeffe's life.
- Why I want to read it: I've always loved O'Keeffe's paintings but know little of her life and the influences on her art. I'm interested in women who came to age in the early twentieth century, who had to made hard choices, with little cultural support, in order to follow their passions. O'Keeffe nurtured her independent spirit in both her life and her work.
- Mini disclosure: I consider author Dawn Tripp one of my online friends and am always happy to support her. Fortunately, she makes that easy by writing critically acclaimed books. Georgia has earned starred reviews and high praise from many respected venues and trusted readers.
- Recommendations: From what I can tell so far, Georgia would appeal to anyone who likes vivid, intense writing; has an interest in the arts; cares about women's issues; and/or wants to read a great story.
- Learn more: Tripp has been interviewed at The Grub Daily, Book Reporter, and Dead Darlings. If you visit her website, you'll find a Q&A, book club resources, information about photography, and more. (photo of O'Keeffe by Stieglitz; in the public domain)