When his wife, Edie, dies, Will Moran abandons all he used to be, and do, to paint still life canvases of rocks and driftwood on the walls of his house.
He’s never painted before, recognizes that his paintings are awkward and ugly, but returns each day to his struggles with light and shadow, color and object, boundary and perspective. He eavesdrops on neighbors, dips into garbage cans, and fills his home with rocks he collects from local beaches. Through it all, he clings to his still lifes, each another attempt to represent the simplest elements of his world — rocks, wood, and grief.
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Elizabeth McKenzie –
“Still Life is a stunning novel about the power of art, the complexity of relationships, and the transfiguration of cast offs, all seen through the recomposition of a broken life. Skenazy writes with mysterious clarity and extraordinary compression; the novel shimmers with intelligence and grace.”
Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
Thad Nodine –
“Still Life offers a rare and beautiful story about the power of our own will to address the disconnects in our lives. After the loss of his wife, Will Moran steps out of family routines and social norms to paint rocks. It’s a novel of voyaging while staying in place, keeping house while refusing all chores, opening hearts while closing doors, and squeezing meaning from stones.”
Thad Nodine, author of Touch and Go
Henry Martin –
“Like a captivating still life, Skenazy’s novel renders perspectives and relationships with nuance and depth. Hypnotic writing, surprising characters, and searching reflections on art and meaning pulse through a moving story about the visible and invisible sediments of longing and fidelity.”
Henry Martin, author of Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon