The Melbourne Athenaeum Library

Bad art mother /

by Preston, Edwina, Published by : Wakefield Press, (Mile End, South Australia :) , 2022 Physical details: 317 pages ; 21 cm. ISBN:9781743059012 (paperback). List(s) this item appears in: Australian General Fiction | Set in Melbourne - General Fiction
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Book Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Fiction PRE Available 064268
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Prepublication record (machine generated from publisher information)

Good mothers are expected to be selfless. Artists are seen as selfish. So what does this mean for a mother with artistic ambitions? Enter: frustrated poet Veda Gray, who is offered a Faustian bargain when a wealthy childless couple, the Parishes, invite her to exchange her young son Owen for time to write. Veda's story unfolds as an adult Owen reflects on his boyhood in the Melbourne suburbs, and in the vibrant bohemian inner-city art world where his restaurateur father was a king. Meanwhile, the talented women in his orbit - Veda, Mrs Parish, wife of an influential poet, muralist and restaurant worker Rosa - push against gender expectations to be recognised as legitimate artists, by their intimates and the wider world. And almost-aunt Ornella, who declares herself without an artistic bone in her body, is perhaps the closest thing Owen has to a traditional mother. As Owen is encouraged to 'be a man', he loses something of himself, too.

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