Thursday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.
Christina Baker Kline, author of the sweeping bestseller Orphan Train, is celebrated for her unerring and masterful ability to conceive magnificent fiction from obscure historical fact. In her highly praised new novel A Piece of The World, she envisages the life invoked by Andrew Wyeth’s indelible painting Christina’s World and spins a nuanced and fascinating story of its subject, Christina Olson and the mutually transformative friendship between artist and muse that grew from his depiction of her. We are delighted and thrilled to celebrate this stellar author and the publication of the first edition of A Piece of The World, gifting us with a reading, talk, q&a and signing to follow.
In A Piece of the World, Kline vividly imagines the life of Christina Olson, the complex woman and real-life muse Andrew Wyeth portrayed in his 1948 masterpiece Christina’s World. The painting — which features a mysterious woman in a pink dress sitting in a field, gazing at a weathered house in the distance — is an iconic piece of American art. To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by a degenerative illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Her fate changed the day 22-year-old Andrew Wyeth knocked on her front door. For more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century. As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.
This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.
“Andrew Wyeth’s celebrated painting Christina’s World has her back to the viewer, but Kline turns her to face the reader, simultaneously equipping her with a back story and a lyrical voice…A character portrait that is painterly, sensuous, and sympathetic.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A graceful, moving and powerful demonstration of what can happen when a fearless literary imagination combines with an inexhaustible curiosity about the past and the human heart.” — Michael Chabon
“A brilliantly imagined fictional memoir of the woman in the famed Wyeth painting ‘Christina’s World,’ so detailed, moving, and utterly transportive that I’ll never be able to look at the painting again without thinking of this book and the characters who populate its pages.” — Erik Larson
Christina Baker Kline is the author of the new novel A Piece of the World (2017), about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. Kline has written five other novels—Orphan Train, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines—and written or edited five works of nonfiction. Her 2013 novel Orphan Train spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including five weeks at #1, and was published in 40 countries. More than 100 communities and colleges have chosen it as a “One Book, One Read” selection. Her adaptation of Orphan Train for young readers is Orphan Train Girl (2017). She lives near New York City and on the coast of Maine.