The Love-Artist by Jane Alison

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Synopsis

A darkly brilliant first novel that imagines a missing chapter in the life of Ovid. Why was Ovid, the most popular author of his day, banished to the edges of the Roman Empire? Why do only two lines survive of his play Medea, reputedly his most passionate work and perhaps his most Accomplished? Between the known details of the poet's life and these enigmas, Jane Alison has Interpolated a haunting drama of passion and psychological manipulation. On holiday at the Black Sea, on the fringes of the Empire, Ovid encounters an almost otherworldly woman who seems to embody the fictitious creations of his soon-to-be-published Metamorphoses. Part healer, part witch, she seems myth come to life. Enchanted and obsessed -- and, for the first time in a long while, flush with inspiration -- Ovid takes her back with him to Rome. But the inexorable pull of ambition leads him to make a Faustian bargain with fate that will betray his newfound muse. As the two of them become entangled in its snares, the reader is drawn deep into an ingeniously enacted meditation on love, art, and the desire for immortality.

 

About Jane Alison

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Jane Alison has a bachelor's degree in classics from Princeton University & a M.F.A. from Columbia University. She lives in Germany.
 
Published March 31, 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 258 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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The great Roman poet, author of Ars Amatoria and the Metamorphoses, is the subject of Alison's fascinating debut: an imagined explanation of what it might have been that caused the emperor Augustus to exile Ovid from Rome for life.

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