Books in Common NW: Molly Peacock & Donna Bailey Nurse

Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 7:30pm

Molly Peacock & Donna Bailey Nurse discuss Peacock's new history of neglected painter Mary Hiester Reid in FLOWER DIARY.

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How do you find time to paint when you need to get to the market to buy a chicken for dinner? Poet Molly Peacock delves into the history of overlooked painter Mary Hiester Reid in her new book Flower Diary: In Which Mary Hiester Reid Paints, Travels, Marries & Opens a Door . In conversation with writer Donna Bailey Nurse, Peacock shares her inventive portrait of this extraordinary woman whom modernism almost swept aside. Weaving threads of her own marriage with Hiester Reid's, following the history of empathy and examining how women manage the demands of creativity and domesticity, coping with relationships, stoves, and steamships, too. Perfect for fans of A Ghost in the Throat.

		Books in Common NW: Molly Peacock & Donna Bailey Nurse image

In Flower Diary Molly Peacock uncovers the history of neglected painter Mary Hiester Reid, a trailblazing artist who refused to choose between marriage and a career. Flower Diary looks at the balancing act of female creativity and domesticity in the life of Mary Hiester Reid, a painter who produced over three hundred stunning, emotive floral still lifes and landscapes.

Born in the U.S. in 1854 into a patrician American family in the middle of the nineteenth century, Mary was determined to be a painter and left behind women's design schools to enter the art world of men. Trained by libertine Thomas Eakins, Mary trailblazed in a life where she fought for her place as a professional artist without having to live as a tragic heroine.

She married George A. Reid, a prominent Canadian painter, and moved with him to Toronto, though she kept a studio in the Catskill Mountains. In Toronto she set about creating over 300 stunning still life and landscape paintings, inhabiting a rich, if sometimes difficult, marriage, coping with a younger rival, exhibiting internationally, and becoming well-reviewed. She studied in Paris, traveled in Spain, and divided her time between Canada and the United States where she lived among America's Arts and Crafts movement titans. But it was the Edwardian age, and while their relationship was more equal than most, it was Mary's place to manage the domestic scene. She left slender written records; rather, her art became her diary and Flower Diary unfolds with an artwork for each episode of her life.

In this sumptuous and precisely researched biography, celebrated poet and biographer Molly Peacock brings Mary Hiester Reid, foremother of painters such as Georgia O'Keefe, out of the shadows, revealing a fascinating, complex woman who insisted on her right to live as a married artist, not as a tragic heroine. Peacock uses her poet's skill to create a structurally inventive portrait of this extraordinary woman whom modernism almost swept aside.

How do you make room for art when you must go to the market to buy a chicken for dinner? Hiester Reid had her answers, as Peacock gloriously discovers.

		Books in Common NW: Molly Peacock & Donna Bailey Nurse image

Biographer and distinguished poet Molly Peacock is the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72, as well as seven volumes of poetry, including The Analyst: Poems. She is an arts activist and, with a friend, started what became a cultural institution in New York City: Poetry in Motion on the subways and buses. A former Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellow and a dual American/Canadian citizen, Molly divides her time between Toronto and New York City.

		Books in Common NW: Molly Peacock & Donna Bailey Nurse image

Donna Bailey Nurse is a literary journalist, a lecturer, a critic for BookTelevision, and the author of What's a Black Critic to Do?: Interviews, Profiles and Reviews of Black Writers. She is a frequent book reviewer for the Globe and Mailthe National Post, the Toronto Star, and the Montreal Gazette, and her articles exploring race and culture have appeared in these publications as well as in Maclean's, Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. She lives in Toronto.

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Diary: In Which Mary Hiester Reid Paints, Travels, Marries & Opens a Door Cover Image
$32.95
ISBN: 9781770416222
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: ECW Press - September 14th, 2021

The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life's Work at 72 Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781608196975
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 1st, 2012

Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9780393325492
Availability: Available in Warehouse. Wait for Email Confirmation for ETA
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 17th, 2004

The Private I: Privacy in a Public World Cover Image
By Molly Peacock (Editor)
$16.00
This title is likely unavailable. Email or call for price and availability.
ISBN: 9781555973131
Published: Graywolf Press - April 1st, 2001

Original Love: Poems Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780393314663
Availability: Available in Warehouse. Wait for Email Confirmation for ETA
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 17th, 1996

The Second Blush: Poems Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393337679
Availability: Available in Warehouse. Wait for Email Confirmation for ETA
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 21st, 2009

Revival: An Anthology of the Best Black Canadian Writing Cover Image
By Donna Bailey Nurse (Editor)
$21.95
This title is likely unavailable. Email or call for price and availability.
ISBN: 9780771067631
Published: McClelland & Stewart - February 7th, 2006

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