Topic of the Week: May 10-14, 2010

Stephanie Cowell

Stephanie Cowell

The creative life is less a way of doing things–writing, painting, music, dance–as it is sensual perception. An artist feels through multiple levels what he/she sees or hears. This week in #litchat we’re discussing novels that explore the arts through the historic fiction based on lives of actual persons.

Our guest host on Friday, May 14, is Stephanie Cowell, author of five important novels based on the lives of influential people of the past. Cowell has an eye that sees the creative life and translates it into words with vivid strokes of believability. Her most recent novel, Camille & Claude—A Novel of Monet, explores the great impressionist artist and the love that sustained him through years of struggle in the competitive Paris art scene.

Claude & CamilleLike many authors, Cowell wrote stories as a child and teenager, but stashed them away for decades. A trained classical vocalist, she sang opera, traveled as an international balladeer, and formed singing ensembles. While translating a Mozart opera, she rediscovered her joy in writing and made a successful transition from music to literature.

Cowell’s four other novels include Marrying Mozart, Nicholas Cooke, The Physician of London (for which she won the 1996 American Book Award) and The Players: A Novel of the Young Shakespeare. Marrying Mozart has been translated into seven languages and optioned for film.

Follow Stephanie Cowell on Twitter at @StephanieCowell.