David Hockney: A Life

David Hockney: A Life

David Hockney: A Life

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'Catherine Cusset's book caught a lot of me. I could recognise myself.' David Hockney

With clear, vivid prose, this meticulously researched novel draws an intimate, moving portrait of the most famous living English painter.

Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney had to fight to become an artist. After leaving home for the Royal College of Art in London his career flourished, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging, because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalised, and because of his inclination for a figurative style of art, which was not sufficiently 'contemporary' to be valued. Trips to New York and California where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic.

A compelling hybrid of novel and biography, David Hockney: A Life offers an insightful overview of a painter whose art is as accessible as it is compelling, and whose passion to create has never been deterred by heartbreak or illness or loss.

'Reading David Hockney: A Life somehow mimics the experience of looking at a painting by the artist vivid compelling.The Economist

'Vivid scenes combine with loving descriptions of Hockney's canvases to create an engaging chronicle.' The New Yorker

'As sunny as the poolside California that was the artist's longtime muse an affirming vision of a restless talent propelled by optimism and chance Cusset captures the psyche of a painter.' New York Time Book Review

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12 Nov 2020
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About the author

  • Catherine Cusset

    Catherine Cusset was born in Paris in 1963. A graduate of the École normale supérieure in Paris and agrégée in Classics, she taught eighteenth-century French literature at Yale from 1991 to 2002. She is the author of thirteen novels, including The Story of Jane and L'autre qu'on adorait (shortlisted for the 2016 Prix Goncourt), and has been translated into seventeen languages. Cusset lives in Manhattan with her American husband and daughter.

    Titles by Catherine Cusset

    David Hockney: A Life