Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rocky Mountain Author Spotlight: Tina Collen

Here's what Sara Davidson, New York Times best-selling author of "Loose Change" and "Leap!", says about the book:

“This book is a fabulous hybrid, a memoir that’s alive with foldouts, paintings, drawings and a surprising lift-up flap. Beneath the playfulness, however, lies the story of an artist trying to understand her father’s lifelong anger towards her. At the pinnacle of her career, an exhibition of her work in Paris, Tina Collen finds herself inexplicably weeping. It takes courage to probe a father’s lifelong rejection, but Collen has wonderful tools: her humor, memories and the trail of art she created. She takes a heartbreaking story and transforms it into something witty, beautiful—and unforgettable.”


Tattered Cover's own Katie S swoons over this book, saying:

"I've heard it said that great art is generated out of conflict or tension. With that in mind, I'll introduce readers to one of my all-time favorite local author works, an "artobiography" by Boulder author and artist Tina Collen.

One of our Tattered Cover customers described it well as I showed her the book: "oh my, you can't read this on a (insert brand name of e-reader here)." If a person saw an online image of the book, it might not leap upon one's face screaming "read me" in neon blinking lights.

No, this book is a sensual experience, a pop-up for the grown-up aesthetic explorer, and from the moment one lifts it from the shelf it commands one's touch, sight, smell...a cohesive involvement of all humors.

"Storm of the i" is, in a sense, The Collen Museum of History. Precious artifacts from this woman's life are arranged and exhibited to delight and fascinate patrons. Collen herself is a thorough and patient curator, leading us all along the written hallways and corridors of her opus, gesturing quietly to the pieces which provide illustration yet leave us wondering. One feels certain of the presence of a master artist, as one witnesses page after page of highly professional, emotional writing coupled with the brilliant gems of a stellar graphic career.

By the end of my impeccably printed-and-bound museum visit, I have so many feelings. Did I just sit down with my friend and hear all her stories while cuddling up to her photo albums? Did I just walk out of a prestigious gallery, awed by the sights within? Did I just experience the loss of a loved one, painfully cataloguing all the joys and sufferings while cleaning out a house? Collen's book allowed me to experience each of these events simultaneously.

And what a magnificent work of art it is, which invites me to thrill in the depth of human experience and reflect upon my own humanity. Brava, Madame Collen. "


1 comment:

Laura said...

The museum analogy is perfect! I think it does justice to both the aesthetic and human value in "Storm of the i".