By Cumming, Laura
The new book from the prize-winning and critically-acclaimed Observer art critic and author Laura Cumming. A captivating memoir of Laura?s mother?s early life on the Lincolnshire coast, the lies and mystery surrounding her birth, and the village that kept it all a secret from her...Born illegitimately in 1926 to the daughter of a miller, Grace was adopted at three years of age by a couple in a neighbouring village... she was renamed Betty and had a constricted upbringing with George and Veda, before making an escape for art school. But there was a puzzle at the heart of her childhood - as a toddler she had been kidnapped on the seashore, and missing for some days. It was not until much later that she started to confront what had happened and why, and question her relationship to her family, lost and found.Laura is investigating that story fully here, and telling Betty?s story in part via her mother?s own words (Betty worked as an artist and is still alive) and through images as well as incidents. It will be idiosyncratic, and individual - but all the better for it.Read more
Laura Cumming has been chief art critic of the Observer since 1999. Her book, The Vanishing Man- In Pursuit of Velazquez, was Book of the Week on Radio 4, Wall Street Journal Book of the Year and a New York Times bestseller. It won the 2017 James Tait Black Biography Prize and was published to critical acclaim ('A riveting detective story- readers will be spellbound' Colm T ibin). Her first book, A Face to the World- On Self-Portraits, was described by Nick Hornby as 'Brilliant, fizzing with ideas not just about art but human nature' and by Julian Barnes as 'that rare item- an art book where the text is so enthralling that the pictures almost seem like an interruption'.
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