Mary Coin/Marisa Silver: The Chicago Tribune Review

Saturday, March 9, 2013

In today's Chicago Tribune I'm reviewing Mary Coin, the new novel by Marisa Silver. The piece appears in Printers Row, the Tribune's truly comprehensive (and always intriguing) book coverage that can be received digitally for a low annual subscription fee.

I share the first two paragraphs of the review here:

A photograph, Marisa Silver writes at the end of her new novel, is “an alchemy of fact and invention that produces something recognizable as truth. But it is not the truth."

It is as if Silver is writing about her own new novel here—about the melding of history and imagination, probability and conjecture that frames Mary Coin. The story turns around the iconic Depression-era photograph known by most as “Migrant Mother”—that young mother in a roadside tent, those distance-seeking eyes, those two dirty children snuggling away from the scrutinizing thievery of the camera’s lens. “Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.” That’s the caption you’ll find if you search for the photo on the Library of Congress site. And then you’ll find this explanation, written by the photographer herself, Dorothea Lange.....


Katrina said...

Beth, this is THE book I've been most eager to read, tipped off by a couple of early readers who loved it. Wonderful that you reviewed it for the Trib. Can't wait to read it myself.

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