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Well-Read Women 

by Samantha Hahn (Chronicle)

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Although the gift-giving “season” has again come to an end, keep Well-Read Women in your back pocket---literally, although it’s rather sizeable, or figuratively, if you’re ever in need of a coveted object for the biblio-femme in your life. Here, a collection of literary “heroines” is depicted in vibrant watercolour, portrayed with as much mystery, sensuality, and texture as the paper characters we’ve come to know. Hahn is clear that the paintings are her own subjective interpretations of “the greatest women in literature,” and the reader will note a heavy representation of expected iconic characters from the Western canon, like Juliet Capulet and Jane Eyre, but others, while classics in their own right, seek to reimagine the concept of literary “heroine”---Esther Greenwood (The Bell Jar), Dolores Haze (Lolita), Edna Pontellier (The Awakening)---casting the damaged, modern “everywoman” as muse. A gorgeous visual library of some of literature’s most fascinating women.

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