THE MARRIAGE ARTIST

Andrew Winer

When the wife of renowned art critic Daniel Lichtmann plunges to her death, she is not alone. Lying next to her broken body is the body of her suspected lover, Benjamin Wind, a celebrated artist who, ironically, owes his success to Daniel, who made him a star. Daniel is left to grapple with the emotional pain of his double loss and double betrayal.

Decades earlier in a Vienna on the verge of World War II, a child artist prodigy emerges from a most unlikely place, the son of Jews who’ve turned their back on their religion only to have their son fall in love with his new-found ability to create some of the most beautiful ketubot—traditional Jewish marriage contracts—the world has ever seen.

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When the wife of renowned art critic Daniel Lichtmann plunges to her death, she is not alone. Lying next to her broken body is the body of her suspected lover, Benjamin Wind, a celebrated artist who, ironically, owes his success to Daniel, who made him a star. Daniel is left to grapple with the emotional pain of his double loss and double betrayal.

Decades earlier in a Vienna on the verge of World War II, a child artist prodigy emerges from a most unlikely place, the son of Jews who’ve turned their back on their religion only to have their son fall in love with his new-found ability to create some of the most beautiful ketubot—traditional Jewish marriage contracts—the world has ever seen. As the young ketubah artist navigates between the survival of his body and of his soul, his choices will shape not only his life, but the lives of those born many miles—and many years—away. The result is a lyrical and unflinchingly honest story that strips away notions of passion and fidelity to reveal an essential truth: there is a love greater than the words that bind it, one that cannot be described, but only illuminated.

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  • Henry Holt
  • Hardcover
  • October 2010
  • 384 Pages
  • 9780805091786

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$26.00

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About Andrew Winer

Andrew Winer is the author of The Color Midnight Made. He currently teaches at the University of California, Riverside, where he has directed the MFA program in creative writing. A recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Andrew lives outside of Los Angeles.

Praise

“A powerful intellect, fearless emotion, and gift for provocative metaphorical narrative, all drive this sweeping, unflaggingly intense novel.”—Francisco Goldman, author of The Divine Husband

“In this intricate and far-ranging novel, Andrew Winer writes brilliantly about art and love, history, debts that can and can’t be paid, fatherhood in all its guises, the importance of bearing witness, the fragile border between mortality and immortality, the speakable and the unspeakable. The Marriage Artist weaves together the lives of characters, past and present, with consummate skill, and the result is an utterly absorbing and profound novel.”
Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street

“Andrew Winer is a formidable writer. He has erected an amazing Tower of Babel, a tower of history, love, marriage and art, Europe and America. In Winer’s building, though, there is no confusion of languages—or only to the extent that it can fuel the masterful plot. This novel is a page-turner with a deeper meaning, a very rare amalgam indeed.”—Adam Zagajewski, author of Eternal Enemies and A Defense of Ardor