paint in black by janet fitch.
all is well for lovestruck bohemians josie and michael, a story set against the '80s in los angeles, until josie must identify her dead lovers' body, "his lips black like leather", when all of her dreams turn to black. michael's death promises struggle and pain for josie, but also for his mother, meredith, with whom josie commences a strange relationship based on loss, which presents itself with many questions ... did they really love eachother ? and what about michael's previous harvard life, dripping with crystals and so intriguing ? fitch presents the characters through contrast in a brilliantly written novel about the hardships of loss and the perpetual questions one cannot find answers for.
i loved this book.
and it was tremendously appropriate for me to have read it throughout my sejour in los angeles this summer - i saw echo park and sunset boulevard in a very different light, considering the brilliant context in which this book was created. janet fitch is an inspirational author, for her extensive description and terrific use of comparisons, as she capitalizes on contrast for the benefit of wonderful characterization.
some books janet fitch took inspiration from for the creation of paint in black, and others she simply recommends :
- the thirteen clocks by james thurber.
- the ballad of reading gaol by oscar wilde.
- the memory room by mary rakow.
- play it as it lays by joan didion.
if you've read any of them, let me know what you though, as i will no doubt be feasting on them in record time - my hunger for astonishing prose has yet to be satisfied.