The Woman in the Picture


Germany, 1927: The English film-maker Henry Whitaker is on a desperate pilgrimage to the dying Weimar republic ...

The present day: Henry's daughter Miranda is on a quest to understand what happened to her mother, a refugee Henry met and married in Germany at the end of the war. Did Henry — as his daughter has always supposed — drive his wife to her death? Or do Miranda's half-repressed childhood memories hint at an altogether more complex and extraordinary truth?

With great skill, James Wilson brilliantly draws these two time-lines together, in a rich and impassioned novel about the enduring marks of love, war, art and guilt.

Praise for The Woman in the Picture

'This is an ardent love letter to an era when cinema was discovering its voice, by a writer who has clearly found his own.'
The Sunday Times

'An engaging and atmospheric novel which brings into sharp relief the stultifying constraints of personal history and the interplay of choice and coincidence in shaping lives.'
The Times Literary Supplement

'I am a film historian and books about film-making drive me mad because they are usually so wide of the mark ... [The] Woman in the Picture, however ... scores a bullseye ... The atmosphere of each period was superbly evoked ... I became so involved in [the] novel and so convinced by everything that took place, that returning to 2006 was sometimes a shock ... A superb achievement.'
Kevin Brownlow

'The Woman in the Picture has the length and structure of an epic, but it's in Wilson's ability to switch between the long-shot and close-up, and to achieve revelation by doing so, that its virtue lies.'
The Independent

'Wilson has created — in its ambition, as well as in its evocation of a studio system and a cinema long gone — a novel which rivals William Boyd's magisterial The New Confessions and which may even, dare I say it, be a lot more fun to read.'
The Independent on Sunday

'Wilson's book is very good at recreating the real life that slops inconveniently around the finished, rectilinear perfection of art.'
The Guardian

'A multi-layered, deeply absorbing and entertaining novel.'
The Times

Cover of The Woman in the Picture

Faber and Faber (20 May 2002)
ISBN-10: 0571202764

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