Tuesday Nights in 1980

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“An intoxicating Manhattan fairy tale…As affecting as it is absorbing. A thrilling debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A vital, sensuous, edgy, and suspenseful tale of longing, rage, fear, compulsion, and love.” —Booklist (starred review)

A transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980s.

Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for the New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason—a small town beauty and Raul’s muse—and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost.

As inventive as Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad and as sweeping as Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, Tuesday Nights in 1980 boldly renders a complex moment when the meaning and nature of art is being all but upended, and New York City as a whole is reinventing itself. In risk-taking prose that is as powerful as it is playful, Molly Prentiss deftly explores the need for beauty, community, creation, and love in an ever-changing urban landscape.
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About the author

Molly Prentiss was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She was a Writer in Residence at Workspace at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Vermont Studio Center and was chosen as an Emerging Writer Fellow by the Aspen Writers Foundation. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the California College of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 5, 2016
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Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Molly Prentiss
Au début des années 80, le downtown de New York est le centre de l’univers, un terrain de jeu revêche, encore hermétique à la menace de l’embourgeoisement. Artistes et écrivains s’y mêlent dans des squats insalubres où leurs rêves de reconnaissance prennent des formes multiples. Parmi eux, Raul Engales, un peintre argentin en exil, fuyant son passé et la « guerre sale » qui a enflammé son pays. S’affamant pour payer son matériel, il peint le jour d’immenses toiles mettant en scène les spectres qu’il croise la nuit. Un soir, il attire l’attention de James Bennett, critique d’art en vogue du New York Times, proche de Basquiat, Warhol et Keith Haring. Tandis que l’ascension fulgurante de l’un entraîne l’autre sous les projecteurs, une double tragédie les frappe. Dans ce chaos, Lucy, l’amante enjouée de Raul, échappée d’une obscure banlieue de l’Idaho, tente de les extraire de leur détresse. Entre peintre, critique et muse se dessine alors un triptyque
amoureux étourdissant.

Avec une écriture inventive d’une grande force poétique, Molly Prentiss explore la nécessité de beauté, de partage, de création et d’amour dans un paysage urbain et mouvant.
« Un défi impertinent : écrire une lettre d’amour polychrome à un Manhattan qui n’est plus. Aussi prodigieux qu’exaltant. »
The New York Times

« Prentiss invente une merveilleuse manière d’imposer une élégance florissante à ses personnages. »
The Guardian

« Un enivrant conte de fée. Touchant et captivant. »

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