Suzanne Wolfe’s First Novel — Unveiling — Wins High Acclaim in 2005 Book Awards
A PRIEST IN GRAHAM GREENE’S The Power and the Glory remarks that the act of carefully visualizing another person inspires a curious quality in the observer — pity. He credits this effect to the discernible presence of God’s image in the subject. Hate, he declares, is “just a failure of the imagination.”
Suzanne M. Wolfe, Seattle Pacific University instructor of English and executive editor of Image journal, understands and demonstrates that sentiment in her acclaimed first novel, Unveiling (Paraclete Press, 2004). Wolfe’s artful, nimble prose follows Dr. Rachel Piers, a specialist in the restoration of aging panel paintings. As she strives to restore an old triptych
in Rome, Piers begins a process of rediscovering and restoring her own injured spirit.
Wolfe explains that the story’s inspiration came to her “as a clear picture
in my head of a Modigliani painting
of a woman who had dark hair and a mournful expression. I was fascinated
by that expression and wanted to get beneath it to discover its cause.” For her work, Wolfe recently earned both an Honorable Mention note in the First Time Author category
of the Catholic Press Association awards, and second place in the Fiction category of Christianity Today’s 2005 Book Awards.
It didn’t hurt that, for a time, Wolfe and her husband, Greg, lived 60 miles outside of Washington,
D.C., where she could “haunt the medieval
rooms” at the National Gallery. “They have a few very fine Van der Weydens, and I guess that they sank into my subconscious and somehow
combined with the Modigliani woman, because one day I just started to write.”
Readers tell Wolfe it takes time to love her main character, and that’s exactly what the author intended: “I wanted the reader’s discovery
of Rachel’s wounded inner-psyche and her past to parallel the gradual unveiling of the triptych and its history. What appears to be blank or dark eventually reveals itself to have a richness of texture, color, and narrative.”
Editor’s note: Unveiling can be purchased at barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.
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