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Knopf
384 pages
Product Description
<p>Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller <i>The Dog Stars,</i> returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past. <br><br> Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience.<br><br> A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, <i>The Painter </i>is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.<br></p>
Knopf
384 pages
Amazon.com Review
<p><strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014:</strong> Following up on the success of <em>The Dog Stars</em>, his post-apocalyptic literary debut of 2012, Peter Heller now pivots in a slightly different direction. <em>The Painter</em> is a contemporary Western about a 45-year-old artist and fly fisherman named Jim Stegner. Having lost two wives to divorce and his only daughter to violence, Stegner has felt the sting of life; but he’s also capable of experiencing great beauty, whether through his art, his relationships, or while out casting on a river. Heller skillfully balances these two sides of his protagonist, painting a portrait of a man whose dark edge can explode in unexpected ways (the first line of <em>The Painter</em> is "I never imagined I would shoot a man)." As the action moves forward, Heller proves adept at describing both peace and violence, and his second novel establishes him firmly in the tradition of writers like Kent Haruf, Thomas McGuane, and Cormac McCarthy. <em>--Chris Schluep</em></p>