Title: The Matisse Stories
Author: A. S. Byatt – Read by Nadia May
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc
Release Date: 1995
Format: Audio read by Nadia May
In this elegant set of stories, three modern women are touched in different wys by the paintings of Henri Matisse.
In “Medusa’s Ankles,” a distinguished translator visits a hair salon hoping to regain a hint of her youthful looks. Hung on the wall before her is one of Matisse’s iconic portraits.
In “Art Works”, the three inhabitants of one household – a generous wife, her petulant husband, and their regal housekeeper – make very different artists.
And in “The Chinese Lobster,: a self-tortured, anorexic art student confronts the smug opulence of Matisse’s nudes while pondering suicide.
I would have to say that you need to know about some of Matisse’s paintings to get the how the stories coinside. While listening it almost seemed like the stories melt into one another. It seems like the main characters (Translator and wife) are one in the same in each story if you didn’t know any better.
It seems that art is the main theme of each story. The lovely picture hung in the salon. The “housekeeper” that has the collage art show made out of all the “bids & bobs” she gathers at her customers house. The art student that is studying the nudes as she is thinking about her own body image.