Alive in Shape and Color

Even before Lawrence Block could rest on his laurels from In Sunlight or In Shadow, a question arose: what would he do for an encore? There is such a wealth of artists who have produced art that could trigger a literary response. Suppose each author was invited to select an art piece that inspires them from the whole panoply of visual art—from the cave drawings at Lascaux to a contemporary abstract canvas on which the paint has barely dried—and write. Lawrence shared this proposal and what a dazzling response! Joyce Carol Oates picked Le Beaux Jours by Balthus. Warren Moore chose Salvador Dali’s The Pharmacist of Ampurdam Seeking Absolutely Nothing. Michael Connelly, who sent Harry Bosch to Chicago for a close look at Nighthawks, has a go at The Garden of Earthly Delights by Harry’s namesake Hieronymous Bosch. S. J. Rozan finds a story in Hokusai’s The Great Wave, while Jeffery Deaver’s A Significant Find draws its inspiration from—yes— those prehistoric cave drawings at Lascaux. And Kristine Kathryn Rusch moves from painting to sculpture and selects Rodin. This is an impressive amalgamation of visual art and fiction displaying masterful writing that doesn’t dissaapoint.

Lawrence Block has been writing award-winning mystery and suspense fiction for half a century. His novels include The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes, The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons, Hit Me, and A Drop of the Hard Stuff, featuring Matthew Scudder. He's well known for his books for writers, including the classic Telling Lies For Fun & Profit and Write for Your Life, and he has recently published The Crime of Our Lives, a collection of his writings about the mystery genre and its practitioners.

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