Publisher HarperCollins Canada, May 2005
Mary and Alex have attained the pot of gold at the end of the dot-com rainbow. Wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, the thirtysomething Seattle couple is now free to do whatever they wish. That means pursuing the artistic vocations they always felt more suited to—writing for Mary and painting for Alex—in the intoxicatingly inspirational setting of Florence. But then Tom, their newly unemployed, recently mugged and always lost-soul of a friend, asks to come and stay with them, ostensibly seeking his own artistic outlet. Befriended by their famous neighbour, a bawdy expat American writer, and adopted by an Italian street child, Mary and Alex discover that freedom is indeed another word—but for what?
Lives of the Artists is a compelling portrait of the complex relationship between art and ideas; an exploration of love and the way it shapes our purpose, our past and our present; and a recounting of the tragedy and comedy that often befall those who search for la vita bella. A novel crafted with clean and classic style, sensual and often funny, this is a modern story for discerning lovers of literary fiction.
ROBERT CLARK’s most recent novel, Love Among the Ruins, received excellent reviews and is under option for film development. He is also the author of Mr. White’s Confessions, a winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the PNBA Award, and In the Deep Midwinter, his first, also highly acclaimed, novel. In addition to writing extensively on travel, food and wine, Clark is the author of River of the West and My Grandfather’s House, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for biography. Clark, presently a Guggenheim fellow, teaches fiction and non-fiction writing at universities, conferences and workshops. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.