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Reading the fiction of Don DeLillo is an utterly original experience: powerful, prescient, perceptive. Writing in a prose that is both majestic and muscular, his unerringly accurate vision penetrates deep into the soul of America and consistently leaves readers with a fresh perspective on the world. Since the publication of his first novel, in 1971, he has been acknowledged across the globe as one of the greatest writers of his generation.
The Body Artist begins with normality: breakfast between a married couple, Lauren and Rey, in their ramshackle rented house on the New England coast. Recording their delicate, intimate, half-complete thoughts and words, DeLillo proves himself a stunningly unsentimental observer of our idiosyncratic relationships. But after breakfast, Rey makes a decision that leaves Lauren utterly alone, or seems to.
As Lauren, the body artist of the title, becomes strangely detached from herself and the temporal world, the novel becomes an exploration of a highly abnormal grieving process; a fascinating exposé of ‘who we are when we are not rehearsing who we are’; and a rarefied study of trauma and creativity, absence and presence, isolation and communion.