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Monsters: What Do We Do with Great Art by Bad People?

Claire Dederer

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Individual artists, art monographs, Biography: arts & entertainment, Philosophy, Feminism & feminist theory, Ethical issues & debates

A spiky and insightful consideration of how we - the fans - should respond to good art made by bad people

'How rare and nourishing this sort of roaming thought is and what a joy to read' MEGAN NOLAN, Sunday Times

'An exhilarating, shape-shifting exploration of the perilous boundaries between art and life' JENNY OFFILL

Pablo Picasso beat his partners. Richard Wagner was deeply antisemitic. David Bowie slept with an underage fan. But many of us still love Guernica and the Ring cycle and Ziggy Stardust.

And what are we to do with that love? How are we, as fans, to reckon with the biographical choices of the artists whose work sustains us?

Wildly smart and insightful, Monsters is an exhilarating attempt to understand our relationship with art and the artist in the twenty-first century.

'An incredible book, the best work of criticism I have read in a very long time' NICK HORNBY

'Part memoir, part treatise, and all treat' New York Times

'Clever and provocative' Daily Telegraph

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Praise for Monsters: What Do We Do with Great Art by Bad People?

  • Dederer's tone and willingness to be wrong and confused, along with her seductive, intimate style, bring the subject to new life . . . You are left wishing Dederer would apply her generous mind to every other niggling unfinished hang-up that haunts our culture - Sunday Times

  • Enthralling, challenging and downright unsettling . . . smart and provocative - Independent

  • Personal, open-hearted and intellectually playful - The Times

  • A properly honest and passionate book that will help set this debate alive - New Statesman

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Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer is the author of the New York Times-bestselling memoir Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses which Elizabeth Gilbert called 'the book we all need'. A book critic, essayist, and reporter, Dederer is a long-time contributor to The New York Times, and has also written for The Atlantic, Vogue, Slate, The Nation, and New York magazine, among others. She lives on an island near Seattle with her family.

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