That’s Artemisia Cavelli running in that lightning-struck park. You first met her in Brushstrokes and glances, my second book of poems. Now you may encounter her in Artemisia’s Wolf, a novel just published by Prakash Books of India. She’s still an artist, still a head-turner, but now she may call to mind Morgan le Fay, Hypatia, Zenobia or perhaps Boedica.
If you’re drawn to independent women, you’ll probably fall in love with Artemisia. If you’ve ever thought about that single moment you seized or failed to seize, you won’t want to miss her.
Artemisia’s Wolf is my homage to the artists Artemisia Gentileschi, Camille Claudel, my aunt, Irene Rice Pereira, and every woman who has been wronged by a society dominated by men and the machismo that is rooted in their insecurities. Set in the Hudson Valley, Brooklyn and Manhattan, it is a story of love, alchemy, betrayal, the art world’s Byzantine machinations, and nobility.
I hope you will like Artemisia and her friends. And her enemies, too. And if you do, it will probably open the door to appearances in books of other people who are, I promise you, equally as memorable.
If you have read the poem, “Artemisia Cavelli,” in Brushstrokes and glances, you will have encountered some of the pluck, enigma and beauty of the young artist in the novel. If you know anything about the characters of Alexander the Great, Zenobia, Hypatia, Boedica and Gentileschi, you will recognize them in this funny, unpredictable and resolute young woman.
If you are a young woman you will take heart in her. She may even become your avatar. If you’re a man, you may say to yourself, I’d like to be the sort of man who admires this young woman.
And if you’re elderly, you may just smile and say, You rock, girl!
Del’s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal Latte’s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother’s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt’s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com