'The Girl in White'
By Sue Hubbard
Published by Cinnamon Press
RRP £8.99 (paperback)
Germany, 1933. A young musician, Mathilde, finds herself pregnant by her lover, a Jew, forced to flee Berlin. She returns to the remote village where her mother died days after her birth and begins to unravel the life of Paula Modersohn Becker.
Leaving her family, Paula lived in a community of artists at Worpswede. There, she witnessed the lives of peasants, married the older painter Otto Modersohn, a marriage that soon became an emotional and creative prison, and met the young poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, with whom she had a complex and intense relationship. Caught between a desire to embrace the new art and the obligations of marriage, Paula left Otto to to live and work in Paris with no means of support, Through the eyes of Mathilde, we see Paula's struggle to achieve independence and recognition as an artist.
Paula Modersohn-Becker was a painter ahead of her time, who deserves a place alongside Gwen John and Frida Kahlo. Sue Hubbard’s narrative not only reveals Paula’s vibrant personality and a legacy of Expressionist paintings but also gives insight into the corrupted thinking behind the Third Reich. It is a meditation on love, loss, memory and hope,
"Girl in White is a triumph of literary and artistic understanding, a tour du force: Masterly, moving and beautifully written. Hubbard goes where few dare go, and succeeds. You are the less for not reading it." -- Fay Weldon
"Imagine a chest of drawers - unopened for a hundred years... A woman opens the drawers, unfolds what she finds and, as she does so, the garments become stories... of some exceptional, lonely paintings, which had a considerable influence on “modern” German art... those intimate folds become interstices of History... I recommend this haunting book..."
-- John Berger
Sue Hubbard is an award-winning poet, novelist and freelance art critic. She has published three poetry collections, a collection of short stories, Rothko’s Red, (Salt)l a novel, Depth of Field, (Dewi Lewis) and a book of art essays, Adventures in Art (Other Criteria). Sue has written regularly for The Independent, The New Statesman and many of art magazines.. She was awarded a major Arts Council Award to support the writing of this book. Her next poetry collection will be published by Salt next year: 'The Forgetting and Remembering of Air'. You can find out more about Sue and her work at www.suehubbard.com.