2009 Memoirs Orange Prize

An Equal Stillness – Francesca Kay

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Winner of the Orange Award for New Writers, 2009

< ?php echo amazon('0297855492','An Equal Stillness ‘); ?>is the biography of a fictional artist. It is a simple book about the life of a painter, her family and her passion for art.

Unfortunately this book just wasn’t for me – I’m not a big art lover and rarely read biographies. If this had been a real biography then it would have been OK, but I just don’t see the point of a fictional one – I was bored throughout. Very little happened and her life seemed very ordinary to me.

The fact it was written in the style of a biography meant that I was distanced from the character and so failed to develop any emotional connection with her. Any attempt to guess at her feelings just annoyed me, as I don’t think it is really possible to know what someone else is thinking and so I’m afraid this book went further downhill, the more I read.

It was a quick, easy read and the writing was poetic in places, but I’m afraid I just didn’t care.

The final years of Jennet Mallow’s life were fruitful. After the colour blocks she returned to the more nearly monochrome, making seven large pictures which are untitled, but again evocative of air and water.

If you love art and gentle prose then I’m sure you’ll love this book, but it was just too ‘still’ for me.



I have seen lots of positive reviews for this book, so if you’ve read it:

Why did you love it?

Do you enjoy fictional biographies?