Friday, November 27, 2009

"Office at Night," by Pamela Painter

Pamela Painter has turned to another painter, Edward Hopper, for narrative inspiration. The well-known illustration from which she takes her story’s title, conveniently thumb-nailed on the site, serves as the source of imagination for her story world. Hopper’s super realist style coupled with Painter’s equally masterful locus of details enriches the reader’s visual experience layered with the verbal. Hopper’s painting seems so long ago and yet we are curious still about the people and how they connect. Painter takes us along with her: “What word, in 1940, would have been used to describe those rounded globes beneath the stretch, from rounded hip to hip, of her blue dress?” Think of this story as a virtual visit to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis where this painting resides. Read it here in Smokelong Quarterly.

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