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Tag: fine arts

The Court Dancer, by Kyung-Sook Shin

The Court Dancer, by Kyung-Sook Shin

On the surface, The Court Dancer is a beautiful novel about a young woman, Jin, and her relationship with a Frenchman. Yet it is also so much more. It is about how the West views non-western peoples, and vice versa. It is about how a woman in a very traditional country transcends her circumscribed role. It is about the contrast between fascination with the exotic, and true love. It is about loyalty and self-determination. The novel takes place in the…

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Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier

Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring was inspired by the famous 17th century Vermeer painting of the same name. The novel takes place in the Dutch town of Delft. According to Tracy Chevalier’s web site, one day as she looked at the poster of the painting that hung in her bedroom, she thought to herself, “I wonder what Vermeer did to her to make her look like that. Now there’s a story worth writing.” From that thought, Chevalier created the character…

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The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani

The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani

The unnamed narrator of The Blood of Flowers is a young woman of 17th century Iran who has fallen on hard times. The book begins with the narrator and her mother huddled in old clothes in a cold, leaking shelter, speaking in whispers to avoid disturbing others sleeping nearby. But the narrator reveals that she wasn’t always in such dire straits: “Only a few months before I had worn a thick velvet robe patterned with red roses, with silk trousers…

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