Cover image for In sunlight or in shadow : stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper
In sunlight or in shadow : stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper
First Pegasus Books cloth edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Pegasus Books, 2016.
Physical Description:
ix, 278 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Each story is illustrated with a full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.
Girlie show / The story of Caroline / Soir Bleu / The truth about what happened / Rooms by the sea / Nighthawks / The incident of 10 November / Taking care of business / The music room / The projectionist / The preacher collects / Office at night / The woman in the window / Still life 1931 / Night windows / A woman in the sun / Autumn at the automat
"A newly commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper"--Dust jacket.


Material Type
Shelf Number
Book PS648.S5I525 2016 1

On Order

Prescott Public Library1Received on 12/21/16



A truly unprecedented literary achievement by author and editor Lawrence Block, a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, including Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Robert Olen Butler, among many others.

"Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within."

So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow . The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.

Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper's biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonée, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.

In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this thematic short story collection, 17 writers-including Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and Joyce Carol Oates-imagine back stories to paintings by American realist painter Hopper. The resulting tales are a diverse gathering of dark noir-tinged tales exploring the deep complexities of the human condition. Nine voice actors give life to the audio edition, each adding another layer of interpretation to the characters and plots set down by the writers. Highlights include Hillary Huber's reading of Megan Abbott's "Girlie Show," a chronicle of a declining relationship between a wife and her artist husband, which Huber delivers with a calculated coolness. Chris Ciulla brings the character of Harry Bosch to life in Michael Connelly's "Nighthawks," a classic PI story in the Chandler tradition, and Arthur Morey is the perfect choice to relay Stephen King's disturbingly ghoulish "The Music Room." A CD containing images of the paintings adds to this multilayered, expertly produced audiobook. A Pegasus hardcover. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Edward Hopper, the painter of American loneliness, inspires a selection of short stories from a host of notable writers.Whether rural or urban, the largely, sometimes fully unpopulated spaces of Hopper's canvases speak so deeply to the American yearning to belong that the images seem to have been plucked right from the country's collective unconscious. We know every one of these places even if we have never seen them. It's no surprise then that the work Hopper inspires in this volume is not cheerful, but the best of it goes deep. Joe R. Lansdale's "The Projectionist" takes the lone usherette in Hopper's 1939 "New York Movie" as the starting point for a story about unrequited love and revenge. It is, as with much of Lansdale, sometimes brutal but never underfelt. Stephen King lets his demon grin show in the brief and nasty "The Music Room," a slick sick joke of a tale. Kris Nelscott, author of the excellent Smokey Dalton detective series, turns in a vivid and melancholy period piece about race and the Great Depression with "Still Life, 1931." And in "Girlie Show," Megan Abbott opens the book and leaves everyone else trying to catch up to her. This bitter tale of marriage and jealousy and the sweetness of sex turning to poison has the authenticity of lived experience, the weariness and longing of the beaten-down characters you see in Hopper's work.This strong collection begins in a spirit of homage but winds up showing how powerful inspiration can be. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Intrigued by how Edward Hopper's work resonates profoundly with readers and writers, given the intensity of his brooding paintings' aura of inner turmoil and bleak expectancy, Block invited fellow mystery writers and other literary luminariesto pick a Hopper painting and write a story inspired by it. The 17 results are searing and ensnaring, clever, erotic, and disquieting tales of anger and subterfuge, desperation and revenge. Some focus on the artist himself, including Megan Abbott's Girlie Show, an indicting yet triumphant interpretation of the famously contentious Hopper marriage. Others stories focus on the figures in the paintings, including two more tales of hidden female power: Jonathan Santlofer's Night Windows and Joyce Carol Oates' The Woman in the Window. Surveillance is the theme in several tales, including Jeffery Deaver's surprising, funny, and dire Cold War plea for leniency. Stephen King turns an oppressive domestic scene into a shockingly macabre story of Great Depression survival. Hopper biographer Gail Levin, editor of a similar collection, The Poetry of Solitude: A Tribute to Edward Hopper (1995), contributed a delectably unnerving story based on a rather astonishing aspect of Hopper's legacy. Robert Olen Butler, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Justin Scott, and Block himself also appear in this lushly illustrated, darkly alluring, deliciously unnerving union of art and story.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist

Library Journal Review

The ensemble of experienced and award-winning narrators (Hillary Huber, Arthur Morey, Alan Sklar), actors (Gildart Jackson, George Newbern, Chris Ciulla), and a musician (Carrington Macduffie) is well suited and well matched to the anthology of stories contributed by such writers as Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, and Lee Child, among others. Each of the short stories is based on a painting by 20th-century American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967), with one story describing how many of Hopper's artworks were stolen. While not every story has universal appeal, each will find an audience. The variety of narrators allows each work to have a different tone, appropriate to that piece. The final disc holds a pdf file of paintings upon which the works are based. Viewing the artwork is required for enjoyment of the stories. VERDICT Recommended for art aficionados, creative writers, and mystery fans. ["A nice-looking book for Hopper fans and short story readers": LJ 7/16 review of the Pegasus hc.]-Cheryl Youse, Colquitt Cty. H.S., Norman Park, GA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.