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Painting Time Reviews

Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal, Jessica Moore

Painting Time

Maylis de Kerangal, Jessica Moore

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: MacLehose Press
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication date: 13 May 2021
ISBN: 9780857059864

A highly original coming-of-age story: the artistic and emotional apprenticeship of a young decorative painter, from the Wellcome Book Prize-winning author of Mend the Living.

4 stars out of 5
Beejay Silcox
7 May 2021

"A celebration of the art of trompe-l’œil confirms this French prize winner as one of our most gifted stylists"

Painting Time is a celebration of mastery, which is nothing more, she writes, “than an aptitude for failure, a consent to the fall, and a desire to start over”. But how exhilarating that fall can be, how heady that desire. The book finds the sensuality in proficiency: the way a new skill feels as it settles into your body, the way a new language feels on your tongue. As she has so often done, De Kerangal shows there is poetry to be found in our jargon, and stories embedded in our tools. A tin of sky blue paint tells a saga from Renaissance times of pulverised gemstones and ostentatious wealth. A pigment chart becomes an incantation of friendship: “Paula, unfolding her fingers one by one, lists the litany of colour names they all know by heart, enunciating the syllables as though she were bursting capsules of pure sensation one by one ...”