Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe
by Dawn Tripp
A novel about the life of American master painter Georgia O’Keeffe, her love story with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and her quest to come of age as a woman. In this novel of a couple, and of passion, betrayal, and art, Georgia comes alive as never before. By the writer whose work Edna O’Brien called “shimmering, audacious.”
Georgia O’Keeffe is a young woman, painting and teaching art in Texas, when she travels to New York to meet Alfred Stieglitz, the married gallery owner of 291, modern art promoter, and photographer. Their instantaneous attraction and powerful hunger for each other draw her into his world of art, sex, and passion, and she becomes his mistress and his muse. As their relationship develops, so does Georgia’s place in the art world, but she becomes trapped in her role as the subject of Stieglitz’s infamous nude photographs of her; the critics cannot envision her as her own being. As her own artistic fervor begins to push the boundaries of her life, we see Georgia transform into the powerfully independent woman she is known as today.
The vibrant cover of this novel and its promise to bring O’Keeffe’s quest to become an independent artist vividly to life drew me in, and I was excited to open to the first page. But for some reason, my initial excitement turned slowly to ennui, flipping page by page as if I’d lost something. The story of O’Keeffe is fascinating, but I guess I just expected more than Stieglitz, Stieglitz, Stieglitz. A good-enough read which, if nothing else, leaves me wanting to read more about the artist and her creative efforts. — Jen Payne