Sunday, November 17, 2019

From Sea to Stormy Sea edited by Lawrence Block

I'd love to see all of the paintings that inspired From Sea to Stormy Sea: 17 Stories Inspired by Great American Paintings". Because I read an ARC, an Advanced Reader's Copy, the paintings were in black and white. I did look up some of them, but the finished copy of the book will undoubtedly be striking.

Several years ago, Lawrence Block had an idea for an anthology, In Sunlight or in Shadow, "Stories Inspired by Edward Hopper's Paintings". In the next collection, Alive in Shape and Color, he invited authors to choose a painting by a favorite artist, and write a story influenced by that work.This time, Block offered authors thirty paintings to choose from. Sixteen authors, plus Block, wrote stories for this collection. Readers will find diverse pieces from authors such as Tom Franklin, Jane Hamilton, Gary Phillips, and John Sandford.

As in any anthology, some pieces stand out more than others. And, tastes differ, so my preferences may not be yours. Sara Paretsky's "Baptism in Kansas" has a powerful ending. I liked John Sandford's "Girl with an Ax". Inspired by "Hollywood" by Thomas Hart Benton, this one is not a violent crime story. Brendan DuBois picked Winslow Homer's "Diamond Shoal" for his story "Adrift Off the Diamond Shoals", an account of the opportunity for revenge during a hurricane. Patti Abbott, Charles Ardai, and Jan Burke wrote intriguing stories.

Actually, From Sea to Stormy Sea is one of the strongest anthologies I've read in the last couple years. The addition of the colored artwork will make this one a keeper.

From Sea to Stormy Sea: 17 Stories Inspired by Great American Paintings, edited by Lawrence Block. Pegasus Books, 2019. ISBN 9781643130828 (hardcover), 272p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

I love this anthology!

Jeff Meyerson said...

I have it on hold.

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Kaye! It is one of the better ones I've read lately.

Jeff, I know you're going to enjoy it.

Gram said...

I found that it is on order at the state library!

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy it, Gram!