We know that Hamptons artists are on your mind, what with tonight’s Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Show & Cocktail Party bringing together some of the top artists on the East End. Our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach are in the spirit with a pair of excellent art books to recommend, plus a duo of new fiction you’ll want to pack up with your towel and sunscreen for some late-summer beach reading.
Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach by Helen A. Harrison and Constance Ayers Denne
James Fenimore Cooper, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, John Steinbeck, Joseph Heller, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Kurt Vonnegut and E.L. Doctorow. What do these artists have in common? They were all drawn to the Hamptons. Whether for solitude or community, creative types have found refuge from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan on the southeastern end of Long Island for over a century, and Hamptons Bohemia is a charming coffee table book that explores the lives of literary and visual artists who made a home on the East End. Whether you’re in the Hamptons for a summer visit or you’re a year-round local, this is an excellent art book to add to your collection. With beautiful photographs and entertaining text, Hamptons Bohemia is not to be missed.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton and Solve Sundsho
Arguably the most influential, imaginative and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer’s career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. Published to coincide with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this stunning book celebrates the astounding creativity and originality of a designer who relentlessly questioned and confronted the requisites of fashion.
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Fans of The Magicians have been lining up for Lev Grossman’s sequel, The Magician King, since its release last week. This book is a must-read for grown-up fans of Narnia and Harry Potter. Grossman’s writing here is sharp and self-aware, and the characters feel like people you actually know, but cooler: they are delightfully profane and dripping with irony, they are arrogant and shallow, they are finding their way in a magically perfect world that somehow still lets them down, and they are learning to fight for the things they love. The Magician King is a triumph of (and an homage to) modern fantasy writing.
The Submission by Amy Waldman
Amy Waldman has performed a rare and dangerous feat in writing an airtight, multi-viewed, highly readable post-9/11 novel. When a Muslim architect wins a blind contest to design a Ground Zero Memorial, a city of 11 million people takes notice. Waldman explores a diversity of viewpoints around this fictional event, bringing in politicians, businessmen, journalists, activists, and normal people whose lives get caught up in the controversy. Incredibly, she manages to keep all the balls in the air without ever fumbling. Don’t miss The Submission, which receives a glowing review in this week’s New York Times Book Review.