The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired (Paperback)

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All loved, and were loved by, their artists, and inspired them with an intensity of emotion akin to Eros.

In a brilliant, wry, and provocative book, National Book Award finalist Francine Prose explores the complex relationship between the artist and his muse. In so doing, she illuminates with great sensitivity and intelligence the elusive emotional wellsprings of the creative process.

Praise For…


“Rollicking … Almost too much fun to read.”

“Stylish writing … a clear-eyed view .. cherry-picked examples.”

“With elegance, eloquence and majesty, Prose has give us a glimpse of the tangled webs of art and Eros.”

“Refreshing … a wonderful work of revisionist biography.”

“A wonderful combination of argument and literary portraiture.”

“Prose has done a great service in her just reconsideration of the rather strange, complicated role of the muse.”

“Juicy reading …. a thoroughly researched, highly opinionated series of fascinating double biographies.”

“A supple work of cultural history.”

“Sad, glamorous and entirely riveting.”

“Francine Prose humanizes nine women who, in some cases, have been idealized beyond recognition. Hurrah for real women.”

“Entertaining … Prose’s indignation, intelligence, scorching wit and critical insight have full play.”

“A remarkable book...piquant, intelligent, provocative--and sometimes haunting.”

“Prose make a remarkable case for the exceptionality of these women in their own right.”

“Exceptionally well researched … an elegant study.”

“Lively and compassionate”

“Richly drawn … Prose approaches the artist-muse relationship with respect and wonder.”

“Prose taps into the power of nine in this inspired book.”

“Packed with fascinating details.”

“Smooth smart and altogether engaging.”


Product Details
ISBN: 9780060555252
ISBN-10: 0060555254
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 7th, 2003
Pages: 448
Language: English