Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, by Adele Griffin

Through interviews with a full cast of characters who knew her, Griffin unravels the sad details of genius artist Addison Stone.  With tireless sleuthing, she gets at the truth behind Stone's life and the causes of her death, dispelling several rumors that have persisted.  Copiously illustrated with Stone's key works and featuring numerous photographs from friends and family, we get an intimate insider's view of her life, blemishes and all.

Stone, in Griffin's hands, is a delicate and finely developed personality, even though we rarely hear from the artist directly.  The book gives us great perspective on what drove her.  And yet, what makes this a truly amazing work is that it is complete fiction.  With creativity and tremendous effort providing the illustrations, Addison Stone's character really comes to life in this faux biography.  Griffin thus achieves two impressive feats:  writing a smooth flowing biography, and doing so with a totally fictitious personality.  Truly a remarkable and unique novel.

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