War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine

Book - 2016 | First American edition.
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Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017
A New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year
An Economist Best Book of the Year

The life of Urbain Martien--artist, soldier, survivor of World War I--lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather's story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain's memory.

With vivid detail, the grandson recounts a whole life: Urbain as the child of a lowly church painter, retouching his father's work;dodging death in a foundry; fighting in the war that altered the course of history; marrying the sister of the woman he truly loved; being haunted by an ever-present reminder of the artist he had hoped to be and the soldier he was forced to become. Wrestling with this tale, the grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renaissance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an extraordinary portrait of one man's life and reveals how that life echoed down through the generations.

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout)
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, 2016.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9781101874028
Branch Call Number: FIC Hertm
Characteristics: 290 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: War & turpentine


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Mar 28, 2017

Hard to believe this book is fiction. Beginning and end harder to follow due to unfamiliarity w/ all paintings. Middle a great synopsis of The Great War and being right in the middle of the War. A great story w/ inventive story line. I'd like to assume this is at least partially true.

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