The Suicide of Claire Bishop

The Suicide of Claire Bishop Greenwich Village Claire Bishop sits for a portrait a gift from her husband only to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire s suicide Haunted by the painting Claire is for

  • Title: The Suicide of Claire Bishop
  • Author: Carmiel Banasky
  • ISBN: 9781938103087
  • Page: 459
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Greenwich Village, 1959 Claire Bishop sits for a portrait a gift from her husband only to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire s suicide Haunted by the painting, Claire is forced to redefine herself within a failing marriage and a family history of madness Shifting ahead to 2004, we meet West, a young man with schizophrenia obsessed with a paintGreenwich Village, 1959 Claire Bishop sits for a portrait a gift from her husband only to discover that what the artist has actually depicted is Claire s suicide Haunted by the painting, Claire is forced to redefine herself within a failing marriage and a family history of madness Shifting ahead to 2004, we meet West, a young man with schizophrenia obsessed with a painting he encounters in a gallery a mysterious image of a woman s suicide Convinced it was painted by his ex girlfriend, West constructs an elaborate delusion involving time travel, Hasidism, art theft, and the terrifying power of representation When the two characters finally meet, in the present, delusions are shattered and lives are forever changed.The Suicide of Claire Bishop is a dazzling debut, evocative of Michael Cunningham s The Hours and Virginia Woolf s classic Mrs Dalloway , as well as Donna Tartt s bestseller The Goldfinch With high stakes that reach across American history, Carmiel Banasky effortlessly juggles balls of madness, art theft, and Time itself, holding the reader in a thrall of language and personal consequences Daring, sexy, emotional, The Suicide of Claire Bishop heralds Banasky as an important new talent.

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      Published :2018-05-23T02:52:15+00:00

    1 thought on “The Suicide of Claire Bishop”

    1. Memory, mental illness, and modern art are central themes in this clever literary puzzle. Magic realism is an intriguing undercurrent here, but it never overwhelms the plot. Drawing strong generational parallels, Banasky asks readers what endures time’s losses and if it is ever possible to escape one’s fate. Fans of Siri Hustvedt’sThe Blazing Worldand Judith Claire Mitchell’sA Reunion of Ghostshave a treat in store.(See my full review at Foreword.)

    2. The Suicide of Claire Bishop is not only daring and ambitious, it actually fulfills its ambition! This is a book about womens' liberation in the 50's and 60s, about schizophrenia, about Alzheimer's, about disappearing bees. What's amazing is that Banasky is able to link all these threads together through the central story of a painting, a painting that should have been a portrait but instead became an image of Claire Bishop's suicide, a painting that haunts her, that gets stolen, changes hands h [...]

    3. Thoughtful, gorgeous and intriguing. A must read for fans of accessible literary fiction with fast pacing and complex themes.

    4. Carmiel Banasky's debut novel dwells on two long term taboo subjects concerning human life: suicide and mental illness. It also floats along between two time periods and societal issues: war protests in the 1960s and art theft at the turn of the 20th century. If that were not enough the story includes an Hasidic Jewish convert, a mysterious painter, and a wealthy unfaithful husband. It is a challenging read. I do not recommend it to any but the most intrepid readers. Readers who like to go beyon [...]

    5. It took me weeks to get through this book. I almost quit several times, including in the final fifty pages, but I was urged not to, so I kept going.The premise of this novel is promising, and the first chapter is so compelling, but the rest of the book fell very flat for me. The significant lack of a chronology was really jarring to me, here. I understand that time is really important for this novel, but as a reader, trying to situate yourself in a thousand different places and times and in a fe [...]

    6. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this and I am so glad that I did. As soon as I picked it up I had a feeling I would love it. This isn't the first time I've had this feeling, and I'm glad to know that my gut usually can tell when a book is going to be fantastic. I'm a sucker for any kind of plot that deals with art or an artist, and while a lot of this book centers on a painting, and how this very painting brings the two main characters together, it is so much more than that. Carmiel Banasky [...]

    7. Audiobook Review: I would recommend this book because I love non-fiction for its anchored logic and reason and from time to time I'll jump onto a book that I find that will challenge me. It's like a college class that you loved because you felt something, but when trying to articulate what you liked, all you can say is, "You just have to take it to understand." Then someone does and you have this understanding between you, but still can't put it into words. If this was a film, I would definitely [...]

    8. A fascinating, complex, beautifully written book. The alternating POVs are skilfully handled, especially considering one of them has schizophrenia & is an unreliable narrator, to say the least. It's not an easy read, & it took some ruminating about it after I was done to tie things together, but it is a deep exploration of prophecy & self-fulfilling prophecy, & the Schrodinger's cat-like nature of prophecy, where observation & awareness themselves change the outcome. (view sp [...]

    9. As a member of the Nervous Breakdown Book Club, I received this novel for their September pick. At first, I didn't think it would be the sort of book I'd read. But Banasky has a great grasp on pace and narrative, and her choices to explore as theme are complex and inviting. I loved her use of plot twists, and the lack of linearity in the novel drew me in. This is an ambitious novel for a writer's first, and I applaud her efforts.

    10. I LOVED this book the beginning. The interplay of the past and present, the variation in voice between Claire and schizophrenic West--it made my heart do things, and I was near tears when I wrote out the anagram of West's forbidden words, "sorry" and "crazy." As someone whose mental health has been on the skids and whose brain often feels like a saboteur, I thought the treatment of West was brilliant. But as the book went on, the plot felt too tidy and sewn up, and I felt neither Claire nor West [...]

    11. bored Bored BORED, to tears. There is NO story. The author and her clunky never-ending pointless blathering should get a room. Leave me out of your love affair with your own voice. Surrealism is a painting style for a reason. read the 5 star reviews- e.g. "ruminating characters wrapped in dense writing," " you might pass by a gallery— or hear a song, echoing through a club, whatever, it’s not really the point— maybe you witness a piece of art that is full. And because you can feel the emot [...]

    12. This review and more can be found on reading-is-dreaming-with-open-Confusing. Sadly, that's the only word that comes to my head when I think of this book. Don't get me wrong, I was plenty excited when I first came across it. The premise promised mental illness, time travel, art theft and lots more, so naturally, I expected something very engaging, but what I got instead was a spider's web of confusing anecdotes.The plot was very imaginative, told through the perspectives of Claire Bishop and Wes [...]

    13. - I’m a little confused overall, and I feel like the ending lacked resolution. Was Nicolette in fact a time traveller? Did she exist in the fifties as well as in 2004? Was this an elaborate delusion?- The ending was very picturesque, with the water rushing through the hospital. This was great imagery, but I wish it symbolized more for me.- I’m not sure how I feel about the depiction of West and his mental health. I feel as though having him as romantically driven manic character who pisses h [...]

    14. 4.5 starsI loved this book. Just adored almost every aspect of it. I think it has a lot of mixed reviews because the summary is very vague and kind of misleading. This is two stories woven together: the first is Claire, a woman in the 1950's/60's who has a portrait of her painted that changes her life. The second is a modern storyline (2004) about a schizophrenic man named West and his obsession with an artist who may or may not have painted Claire's portrait decades ago.Most importantly, this i [...]

    15. Hated it. Hated both characters. The subject of the portrait, Claire Bishop. I'm sorry she lived her life by some misguided information, but that doesn't mean she had to continue on with her life, useless, wandering, unhelpful. She made nothing of her life; I found her very uninspiring. The artist apparently did her no favors by "taking away" her suicide in the painting. She shoulda let her do it; she wasted her life.The second protagonist, the schizophrenic, I found hard to follow and uninteres [...]

    16. i'm still trying to wrap my head around this book. the premise was great: suicide, art, nyc in the 50's, schizophrenia. i expected this great, mind blowing novel. the beginning was a little slow for me, however, i loved Claire's story. West's story was eh. the middle of the book picked up and it felt like, finally, we're getting to the good stuff! the pace picked up only to be a huge let down in the end. nothing was solved. i was more confused with the ending than i was when i started reading! t [...]

    17. The long fields were stripped back to reveal a brilliant conflagration of exotic flowers, all of differing heights and colors assorted and resorted, painting a picture absent paint and brush, the tall grass was ripped up at the roots by travelers to use the thick stalks to wrap around their necks and self-choke outBeautifully choreographed and last whispering, "Suicide is the new dead." Chris Roberts, God of Terrible Beauty

    18. This is a very imaginative story told through two individuals: Claire Bishop (who we meet in 1959) when she is sitting for a portrait of her) and West (who we meet around 2004). The portrait of Claire is painted by Nicolette who is a 26 year old young woman. Rather than producing a portrait of Claire, Nicolette paints a series of incidents that are projected to occur over her life, including her suicide. Claire reacts angrily, as does her husband, and chases Nicolette out. Soon after this incide [...]

    19. This novel about a work of art, a painting that depicts a woman's suicide didn't particularly work for me, there are two characters in the book to focus upon. The actual woman who is depicted in the painting, Claire, and a somewhat troubled young man in the future who finds the painting. I felt that the book was far more interesting when focusing upon Claire in the picture, her story was far more inviting than his a young man named West who is far in the future. The book goes back and forth thro [...]

    20. I've been trying to process my thoughts about this book for a while. The prose is really effectively written - I was drawn in from the start. What was surprising about his novel was how, even though I was aware of the nature of the unreliable narrator(s) -- I still found myself almost stretching to believe his plans. ("Well, maybe.but no?") And I think this was the point. West's self-delusions were so trusted in his own mine and so consistent in their grip on this explanation -Nicolette is a tim [...]

    21. I thought this book had some potential and I enjoyed some aspects of it but on the whole it didn't really work for me. This book doesn't have much of a plot so it really has to succeed as a character study but I never felt like I got Claire. After a strong introduction I didn't find her interesting or complex or anything and I didn't feel like I really got into her head. Ultimately she was a drab character and I didn't find the trip through her life very entertaining or thought provoking. West I [...]

    22. Beautiful written book that is tough to put down even though focusing on what is going often requires intense concentration. The plot interweaves the lives of various strangers brought together by the existence of one painting that has deep and different meanings for all. At some points, you find yourself waiting for resolution of a storyline, but that doesn't really happen at all, and in the end, you never really know whether the delusions of one of the main characters (who happens to be mental [...]

    23. Lots to think about in this book. I finished it puzzled but then went back and read the prologue again. It helped a lot. In fact, when I started the book I had to do so twice because I found the prologue so disorienting, but it makes sense after you finish the book.The language used in this is absolutely amazing. Banasky is immensely talented. One favorite passage:"I want to enter the bridge, and then I do. I become it. Feel the terrible-everything people carry from one side to the otherThe stor [...]

    24. This book revolves around two main characters--a really sad 1950s woman (Clare) and a 2004 schizophrenic (West). The two are connected by a few secondary characters and also a painting, a portrait of Clare commissioned by Clare's husband but that turned out to actually be a collage of her killing herself in a variety of ways. Decades later West sees the portrait in a Hasidic gallery, & myriad paranoid schizophrenic theories & plans ensue.I want to give this book 3.5 stars. 5 stars for re [...]

    25. This is one of those novels where its literary pretensions overwhelm its story. Banasky is a talented writer, but the plot is so frustratingly cryptic that I was never entirely sure what the story was about. Plus, the two main protagonists--the possibly suicidal Claire of the title and a schizophrenic named West--are not exactly likeable. Are we supposed to care what happens to them? The most interesting character in this novel is the enigmatic artist Nicolette, who seems to be some sort of time [...]

    26. See full review @ blog: pintxosylibros/2016/06/07Loneliness in NYC is a strange thing, stranger still because it seems oddly universal amongst those who grind their soles down on the city streets. Banasky’s recognition of this paradox is one of the reasons why I loved The Suicide of Claire Bishop. In both of the novel’s inter-twining New York narratives, Banasky captures the curious feeling of living so close to so many people and yet also, to some degree, feeling as if you do so in pure iso [...]

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