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Think Writers are Writers? Think Again. Doubly Gifted: The Author as Visual Artist

Narrative takes so many forms.  Doubly Gifted, by Kathleen Hjerter, is a delightful reminder of this fact, and don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it.  We found our 1986 hard cover edition buried in the used stacks at Green Apple, and stood in the aisle flipping pages. The authors we thought were WRITERS, PERIOD, were just as often visual artists.  A great book to buoy the spirits.

Here’s the blurb from From Publishers Weekly:

“Along with such well-known examples as William Blake and Edward Lear, many famous writers have painted, drawn or sculpted, and even if the quality of their graphic work is eclipsed by their literary output, it nonetheless offers clues to their psyches. Poe’s portrait of the woman he planned to marry the year he died aches with hypersensitivity. Anne Sexton’s oil of a couple arguing is like a primal scream. Michener’s painting Biography, a checkerboard of squares filled with personal symbols referring to events in his life, reflects his proclivity for cramming massive amounts of data into a narrative framework. Many of the 68 “doubly gifted” authors represented here turned out very good artwork. Notable examples are Gunter Grass’s acid etchings, Breton’s surrealist hallucinations and Hart Crane’s somber painting of trees at nightfall. Pictures by Ibsen, Winston Churchill, George Sand, Wilde and Strindberg make for a rare, intriguing glimpse of the creative process. “(Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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