MIDDLEBURY — Harriet Scott Chessman will present her new book, “The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas,” in conversation with John Elder, Saturday, April 8, at 4 p.m. at The Vermont Book Shop. Book signing to follow. Free and open to public.
Ten years after Edgar Degas’ 1873 winter sojourn in New Orleans, a lost sketchbook surfaces. His Creole cousin Tell — who lost her sight as a young woman — listens as her former child-servant describes the drawings and reads Degas’ enigmatic words. The experience is both cryptic and revelatory, leading Tell to new understandings of her marriage, her difficult, brilliant cousin Edgar, her daughter Josephine, and herself.
A lyrical novel about what art can reveal, and a nuanced imagining of the familial, racial and financial forces on Edgar Degas and his work. The book has won advance praise from Jay Parini, Meg Waite Clayton, Micah Perks, and Elizabeth Rosner.
Chessman is the author of four acclaimed earlier novels and her fiction has been translated into eight languages and featured in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The L.A. Times. She has taught English and creative writing at Yale University, Bread Loaf School of English, and Stanford University. She lives in Connecticut.
Elder is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and English, Middlebury College, and author of “Reading the Mountains of Home and Picking Up the Flute, among many more. For more information, contact Jenny Lyons at 802-388-2061 or [email protected]