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Paint Your Wife

Paint Your Wife 1

by Lloyd Jones
Paperback
Publication Date: 19/11/2014
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $29.99 $27.95
"Jones' deep affection for his characters and the light, anecdotal touch with which he nudges them away from despair makes for a warm and original entertainment."--Kirkus (starred review)

"The writing reminded me a lot of Anne Tyler - it will be enjoyed by fans of domestic, community drama, but made all the more fascinating and unique because its observations are from within the male perspective."--BookBrowse

"A delightful read, moving and uplifting, and loaded with gorgeous prose . . . Highly recommended."--BookMooch

"A gentle, whimsical book . . . Jones's writing is easy and sophisticated, reminding me of Steinbeck at his humorous best . . . the whole fanciful sprawl is a delight."--The Age

"Jones is a daring writer who can be relied on to ignore expectation, and is becoming one of the most interesting, honest and thought-provoking novelists working today."--The Guardian

Long ago, when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting the women of the town. They sat for him in lieu of payment for his work catching rats. Alice, his favorite, returned his attentions. When her husband George came home from the war, he set out to prove his love and reclaim his wife by moving a hill--wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow--for her.

Decades later the townspeople, looking to escape various corners of despair, turn to drawing classes. For when you draw, the only thing that matters is what lies before you.Paint Your Wifeis a colorful, sensual novel, brimming with rich stories and even richer characters.

Lloyd Joneswas born in New Zealand in 1955. His best-known works includeMister Pip, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize;The Book of Fame, winner of numerous literary awards;Hand Me Down World; and his acclaimed memoirA History of Silence. Jones lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

ISBN:
9781925095371
9781925095371
Category:
Fiction
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
19-11-2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Text Publishing Company
Country of origin:
Australia
Dimensions (mm):
233x154x24mm
Weight:
0.42kg
Lloyd Jones

Lloyd Jones has written novels, short stories and a memoir.

He won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novel Mister Pip.

His other books include Hand Me Down World and A History of Silence. Lloyd lives in Wellington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Highly recommended.

    by on

    “When you are drawing you are actually learning how to see. You do this through looking. Looking is untarnished glass. No green bits of judgement hanging from the lens. In order to draw you must to learn to see how things are – not how you wish they were, or once were”

    Paint Your Wife is the 10th fiction book by New Zealand author, Lloyd Jones. It starts with the mayor of New Egypt, Harry Bryant returning from a visit to his son in London. It is the late 1990s, and Harry’s town, on the North Island of New Zealand, has fallen on hard times. The paint factory has closed up; ideas for tourist attractions fail to gain funding; long-time locals are beginning to abandon the town for more prosperous places. In a last ditch attempt to attract attention, Harry gets Alma Martin to reproduce his old portraits of the town wives in a public space: it generates some outside interest, but also acts as a sort of catalyst for the locals, as does the arrival at Harry’s place of business (Pre-Loved Furnishings and Curios),of a young couple with twins, looking for accommodation.

    Alma Martin lives in the old Fire Warden’s cottage on the hill near Harry’s mother’s farm. He has tried his rather talented hand at quite a few things: colour technique at NE Paints; teaching; wartime rat catching; and, in lieu of payment for said rodent extermination, sketching and painting the wives of the town.

    Jones gives the reader a cast of charming and often quirky characters; the vignettes that fill in their backstories are captivating; there is plenty of humour and a fair share of wisdom; the feel of the town is well-rendered; the descriptive prose is a joy to read

    Alma’s advice on drawing is also superbly expressive: “Light and shadow, he liked to say, are in constant negotiation as to which parts of the world the other can have” and “…seeing is not the same as looking. And in learning how to draw what you really learn is how to see. Once you learn how to see, good or bad or better doesn’t come into it” are just two illustrations of this.

    This offering by Jones is a delightful read, moving and uplifting, and loaded with gorgeous prose. This book was originally published in 2004, two years before the prize-winning Mister Pip, but this new edition by Text Publishing has wonderfully evocative cover art by W.H.Chong. Highly recommended.