As the Worm Turns
The As the Worm Turns Book Group will discuss The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey (Washington Square Press, $16.00). Gustav Klimt, one of the great painters of fin de siecle Austria, takes center stage in this passionate and atmospheric debut novel, which reimagines the tumultuous relationship between the Viennese painter and Emilie Floge, the woman who posed for his masterpiece The Kiss, and whose name he uttered with his dying breath. Vienna in 1886 was a city of elegant cafes, grand opera houses, and a thriving and adventurous artistic community. It is here where the twelve-year-old Emilie meets the controversial libertine and painter. Hired by her bourgeois father for basic drawing lessons, Klimt introduces Emilie to a subculture of dissolute artists, wanton models, and decadent patrons that both terrifies and inspires her. The Painted Kiss follows Emilie as she blossoms from a naive young girl to one of Europe's most exclusive couturiers and Klimt's most beloved model and mistress. Janet Grojean will facilitate the discussion.