Because Helen Harrison is an expert on 20th-century American art and has written about it, her latest book should not have come as a surprise. On the other hand, what would your reaction have been upon first encountering her first work of fiction, a paperback novel called “An Exquisite Corpse,” with a cover drawing of a figure wearing a dark mask with a chicken foot on one leg, a boot on one hand, and an umbrella in the other? Surprise!
A week ago Sunday at Accabonac Harbor for a picnic, I announced to a friend that I was going to set off to search the shoreline for Native American stone tools. I had gotten excited about the prospect looking at images from the Montauk Indian Museum of arrowheads and other things picked up on the beach here and there. “I’ll be back shortly,” I said.
So there we were in Pittsburgh, my eldest daughter and I, and she said why not go by the old house I had told her my mother and I had lived in, when I was 10 and she was 34, beginning again after a painfully sad divorce.
When the body of a beautiful young woman is found washed up against a jetty by an early morning surfer, and then promptly disappears after a photo of her goes viral, former New York journalist Paul Sandis stumbles into a career-making story.