History of the Universe

Jennifer Bartlett, Author Moyer Bell $0 (197p) ISBN 978-0-918825-12-4
Celebrated painter Bartlett's first novel is, not surprisingly, a visual work that presents a series of memories, impressions, descriptions of individuals and snatches of conversations. The result is a colorful design that is sometimes representational, sometimes abstract. Bartlett alternates between a first- and third-person voice, between stream-of-consciousness and traditional narrative, as she tells of the life of Jane Tauber Elliot, the oldest of four children in a California family. Jane majors in art in college, goes on to graduate school at Yale, becomes a painter and marries a medical student, whom she later divorces. As the novel's title suggests, chapters cover the spectrum of human experience: family, marriage, career, friends, death. Though the story's pace is slowed considerably by a surfeit of detail (we learn everything, ranging from which shampoo Jane uses to what she and her friends ate and drank on various occasions), this novel demonstrates Bartlett's versatility as an artist. November
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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