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The Biographer by Virginia Duigan

The Biographer

by Virginia Duigan

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Beautiful writing and an interesting topic, namely: How would you react if your past suddenly came up for scrutiny in someone else's biography? And how does a community react when one of its number is singled out for such an honour reserved for only the noteworthy. Greer, the main character, encounters these problems when the writer of her husband's biography appears at their villa in Italy to interview both of them. Faced suddenly with the memories of actions she took twenty-five years earlier in her native Australia, Greer runs a gamut of emotions, sensitively portrayed in the narrative. The friends of the couple are also drawn into the enquiry and affected by both the biographer and his project. I really enjoyed this, particularly enjoying the flow of the language which holds a peculiarly Antipodean flavour (I'm a kiwi, its an Australasian thing). I found the ending a little sudden and anti-climactical - but then I think that is more a testament to the quality of the narrative and the on-going inner-journeys of the characters. I didn't really want either to end. ( )
  addbj | Aug 26, 2012 |
A novel that starts in Australia and ends in Italy, about the art world, paintings, artists, strong emotions and vibrant characters. The story is told by the central character Greer, a woman of new found passion. Finally marrying her long time suitor Charlie, she makes a life shattering decision in the weeks that follow, affecting not only herself but everyone around her. She also carries a shocking secret that if told, could open up a hornets nest of raw emotions for them all. A secret that Tony, The Biographer, would love to unravel and include in his book. My interest was well maintained throughout this novel, especially once the location shifted to Italy and we were introduced to a couple of lovable eccentrics. For me the ending fell a little flat, but on the whole an enjoyable read. ( )
  Fliss88 | Jul 25, 2010 |
A novel of suspense of a sort,no one was killed but there is a secret and someone plots to find it out. Interesting writing about art as well as emotions. ( )
  mlanzotti | Apr 25, 2010 |
Greer and Mischa live in one of a group of old houses in a hillside
village in italy. She is Australian, he Czech. They met in Melbourne
when Greer worked at the gallery where Mischa's paintings were being
exhibited. There was an instant, passionate relationship between them,
causing Greer to leave her husband Charlie. Many years later the
biographer Tony visits them to gain background information for his
forthcoming biography of Mischa. Greer has a secret that she doesn't
want revealed. She knows that Tony is persistent and fears exposure.
Told with diary flashbacks interspersed through the narrative.
I enjoyed this book The local scenes, both in Australia and Italy, are
well presented and the interaction between the couple and also between
them and their close friends in the village are lively. It's one of
those books where you keep on reading just another chapter when you
should be doing something else.
  mtranter | Jul 22, 2008 |
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Greer Gordon lives in Italy with Mischa Svoboda, a driven Czech-born painter with a booming international reputation. She and Mischa met when his debut show at the small Melbourne art gallery where she worked created a sensation. Their explosive love affair caused Greer to abandon her husband, job, home and embark on a nomadic life with Mischa. Twenty five years later, Tony, a young art critic who is researching a biography of Mischa, arrives in the small Italian hilltop community where Greer and Mischa live. Greer is consumed by anxiety, fearing the biographer may have unearthed the secret she always intended to keep hidden.… (more)

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