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About Linda Lappin
I write literary fiction with a strong sense of place, influenced by the areas where I have lived and traveled extensively: Italy, France, and Greece. My novels also have a marked historical focus—and are mainly set in the early twentieth century, with women artists and writers as the narrators and/or main characters. Sometimes my narrators are well-known historical figures, like Katherine Mansfield or Jeanne Hébuterne; while others are fictional composites. I try to recreate accurate historical settings and stick to known biographical details based on thorough research, as I did in my novel about K. Mansfield's life, Katherine's Wish, which has been called "creative scholarship." But sometimes my work is "genre-bending," mixing at times elements of gothic, fantasy, myth, suspense, mystery and magical realism into the sturdy pot of historical fiction and fictional biography. My books have won prizes and honorable mentions in the small press circuit: Ippy, Nautilus, New York Book Festival, Paris Book Festival, Foreword, Eric Hoffer. My mystery tale, SIGNATURES IN STONE won the overall prize for Best Mystery in the Daphne DuMaurier award in 2014. My newest novel is LOVING MODIGLIANI: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne.
My favorite themes include travel and displacement, quests and loss, the search for self and the search for home. The essence of my reading, writing, traveling, and research has led me to realize that places inhabit us just as we inhabit them. They may have personality, emotion, agency, and the power to transform lives. They transmit stories and imagery across time, which we can receive, elaborate, and transmit again in our own new form. That is the essence of what I try to convey in THE SOUL OF PLACE, a creative writing guide for writers of all genres, dealing with the ways our connection to place can inspire our creativity.
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Amedeo Modigliani, embittered and unrecognized genius, dies of meningitis on a cold January day in Montparnasse in 1920. Jeanne Hébuterne, his young wife and muse, follows 48 hours later, falling backwards through a window. Now a ghost, Jeanne drifts about the studio she shared with Modigliani—for she was not only his favorite model, but also an artist whose works were later shut away from public view after her demise. Enraged, she watches as her belongings are removed from the studio and her identity as an artist seemingly effaced for posterity, carried off in a suitcase by her brother. She then sets off to rejoin Modigliani in the underworld. Thus begins Loving Modigliani, retelling the story of Jeanne Hébuterne’s fate as a woman and an artist through three timelines and three precious objects stolen from the studio: a notebook, a bangle, and a self-portrait of Jeanne depicted together with Modi and their daughter. Decades later, an art history student will discover Jeanne’s diary and rescue her artwork from oblivion, after a search leading from Paris to Nice, Rome, and Venice, where Jeanne’s own quest will find its joyful reward
In this eloquent collection, women share firsthand experiences of the people, history, and landscape of Greece. Their essays go beyond ordinary travelogue to capture the ways in which Greece has shaped lives or influenced decisions. In expressing their love for the country, these women share stories as visceral as they are poignant, as entertaining as they are endearing.
Whether they are seasoned travelers or armchair adventurers, Greece aficionados or those just beginning to learn about the country, readers of this compelling collection will gain a better understanding of Greece and how experiences abroad can impact their lives.