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The New York Review of Books

My Death

My Death

by Lisa Tuttle, introduction by Amy Gentry

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The narrator of Lisa Tuttle’s uncanny novella is a recent widow, a writer adrift. Not only has she lost her husband, but her muse seems to have deserted her altogether. Her agent summons her to Edinburgh to discuss her next book. What will she tell him? At once the answer comes to her: she will write the biography of Helen Ralston, best known, if at all, as the subject of W.E. Logan’s much-reproduced painting Circe, and the inspiration for his classic children’s book.

But Ralston was a novelist and artist in her own right, though her writing is no longer in print and her most storied painting too shocking, too powerful—malevolent even—to be shown in public. Over the months that follow, Ralston proves a reluctantly cooperative subject, even as her biographer uncovers eerie resonances between the older woman’s life and her own. Whose biography is she writing, really?

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681377728
Pages: 144
Publication Date:


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