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The Museum Guard

by Norman, Howard A

  • ISBN: 9780374216498
  • ISBN10: 0374216495

The Museum Guard

by Norman, Howard A

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish date: 08/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780374216498
  • ISBN10: 0374216495
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Description: Defoe Russet, orphaned at age nine by a zeppelin crash, has grown up in the care of his magnetic uncle Edward. Now twenty-five, he works as a guard at the Glace Museum in Halifax: his uncle is the other guard. DeFoe is caught up in a tormenting love affair with Imogen Linny, the caretaker of the small Jewish cemetery. Imogen is continually wracked by headaches and a sense of profound disillusionment with her life's lack of passion. When the Dutch painting Jewess on a Street in Amsterdam arrives at the museum, Imogen becomes obsessed and abandons her Life in favor of the one she imagines for the painting's subject -- even as being a Jew in Amsterdam is becoming more and more perilous as the clouds of World War II begin to gather in Europe.

As the story of the painting's subject emerges, Imogen removes herself from DeFoe and enters the orbit of Edward and his obsession with the horrific news being broadcast from Europe. The inevitable collision of art and reality is surprising and prophetic. Drawing together the mysteries of identity and self-determination and the ominous aura of Europe in the late 1930s, The Museum Guard is also an examination of the drive to step out of the everyday and into action -- and of that drive's often tragic consequences. Like The Bird Artist, this is a work that will linger in the memory long after its startling conclusion.

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