A widowed writer begins to work on a biography of a novelist and artist--and soon uncovers bizarre parallels between her life and her subject's--in this chilling and singularly strange novella by a contemporary master of horror and fantasy.
The narrator of Lisa Tuttle's uncanny novella is a recent widow, a writer adrift. Not only has she lost her husband but her muse seems to have deserted her altogether. Her agent summons her to Edinburgh to discuss her next book. What will she tell him? At once the answer comes to her: she will write the biography of Helen Ralston, best known, if at all, as the subject of W.E. Logan's much-reproduced painting Circe, and the inspiration for his classic children's book, Hermine in Cloud-Land.
But Ralston was a novelist and artist in her own right, though her writing is no longer in print and her most radical painting, My Death, deemed too unsettling--malevolent even--to be shown in public. Over the months that follow, Ralston proves an astonishingly cooperative subject, even as her biographer uncovers eerie resonances between the older woman's history and her own. Whose biography is she writing--really?
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