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Reviews

  • Beautiful, tender, and riveting. I have taken this book into my heart.

    Claire-Louise Bennett, author of CHECKOUT 19
  • A miraculous, door-opening book

    Julia Blackburn, author of TIME SONG
  • Since the publication of her memoir, Self-Portrait, Celia Paul has become almost as famous for her writing as her art... [In Letters to Gwen John] the analogies between the two painters - solitary, spiritual, quietly magnificent - become even clearer.

    Laura Cumming, Observer
  • Devastatingly honest... At once diary and confessional, biography and autobiography and something between the two... This book lets the reader into a world of sadness, loneliness and isolation. At its heart, however, is that unexpected kernel of confidence and self-belief that the author shared with Gwen John.

    Honor Clerk, Spectator
  • [An] intimate, immediate form of memoir [combined] with elements of biography and art criticism. The end result is a beguiling, singular work of art - a portrait of two lives, entwined through time and space... Paul's prose...glints and gleams on the page.

    Lucy Scholes, Daily Telegraph
  • It is really Paul who's centre stage, and she is fascinating; I do not feel, at this point, that I could ever tire of her mind, and the unlikely, singular way it turns.

    Rachel Cooke, Observer
  • It's a work of biography, analysis, reverence, and supplication, and it's filled with buoyant representations of both Paul's and John's work. A charge runs through it, the crackly static electricity of two connected souls touching hands across a century.

    Hillary Kelly, Vulture
  • Paul's prose is spare and luminous, revealing her painter's eye in attention to colour, texture, and depth... The included paintings, both John's and Paul's, are breathtaking. Fellow artists will relish this lucid look at what is required to "live and paint truthfully."

    Publishers Weekly

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