Tuesday Nights in 1980

Tuesday Nights in 1980

A Novel

Book - 2016
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Baker & Taylor
An evocative, synesthetic art critic and an exiled Argentinian painter on the run from his country's violence are brought together by respective tragedies, a small-town beauty and a mysterious orphan boy who helps them rediscover what they have lost. A first novel.

& Taylor

An art critic and an exiled Argentine painter on the run from his country's violence are brought together by their individual tragedies, a small-town beauty, and a mysterious orphan boy who helps them rediscover what they have lost.

Simon and Schuster
“In one sentence, Ms. Prentiss captures a sense of intoxication and possibility that six seasons of voice-overs from Sarah Jessica Parker never could…Ms. Prentiss concludes her novel on a note that’s both ethereal and brutally realistic. She cauterizes wounds, but they’re still visible and bare. But for her characters—for this promising author—it’s enough.” —The New York Times

“An intoxicating Manhattan fairy tale…As affecting as it is absorbing. A thrilling debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A vital, sensuous, edgy, and suspenseful tale of longing, rage, fear, compulsion, and love.” —Booklist (starred review)

A transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980s.

Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason—a small town beauty and Raul’s muse—and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost.

As inventive as Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad and as sweeping as Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, Tuesday Nights in 1980 boldly renders a complex moment when the meaning and nature of art is being all but upended, and New York City as a whole is reinventing itself. In risk-taking prose that is as powerful as it is playful, Molly Prentiss deftly explores the need for beauty, community, creation, and love in an ever-changing urban landscape.

Publisher: New York : Scout Press, 2016
Edition: First Scout Press hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501121043
Branch Call Number: FICTION PRENTISS 2016
Characteristics: pages cm


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Jan 26, 2018

With a predisposition to enjoying stories set in New York City and even moreso, stories that feature young adults in that setting, I was excited to find this book (which now features different cover art than what shows on this page). Did the book deliver? Not entirely but it got me a good part of the way there. An enjoyable read stopping far short of a great read. I was hoping for a novel something like Cat Marnell's memoir(this isn't that), or a wonderful novel I read years ago about the club scene in 1980's NYC. This isn't that either, but I still enjoyed it.

Jul 11, 2016

I've always had a fascination with 1980s NYC. The grittiness of it and the artists who came out of it (many of whom are featured in this book) fueled a life-long desire to live there myself and, to get cliché, "be a part of it." By the time I'd moved there in the mid 2000s, however, a lot of that grittiness was gone. So, I still look for books and movies that will take me back to a time I didn't get to experience- A time when Jean-Michel Basquiat was spray-painting graffiti on subway cars and Madonna was hanging out with Keith Haring.

This book tries to capture that feel, and for the most part, does a decent job of it. The characters are all flawed human beings (many of whom are squatting in an "artist's loft" and making a mess of their lives, but also some decent art) whose lives intersect in some lovely and some tragic ways.

There's something a little flat about this story and the characters, though. I could never truly care about any of them. It lacks depth in places where it feels like it could and should get REALLY DEEP.

Overall, though, it's a quick read about my favorite city during my favorite time; so, I enjoyed it. There are cameos by many artists, some of whom I wasn't familiar with, but thanks to google images and this book, I've found some new favorites.

SPL_Shauna Jul 09, 2016

Readers who loved Rachel Kushner's *The Flamethrowers* for the art, political unrest and the setting (New York's art scene in the 70s/80s) may find lots to love here. While the prose is a bit more descriptive, the ensemble cast and plot twists keep the pace moving well. A wonderful, evocative debut novel.

Jul 06, 2016

This book is a good story with a few twists and turns. I felt that there was a lot of time spent with descriptives and adjectives but decided to stick with it.

I'd only recommend the book to readers very interested in art/art history.

multcolib_darceem Apr 23, 2016

I love reading about the lives of artists and I have a soft spot for the 1980s so I was probably predestined to like this book, but I love LOVED this story, the vivid NY setting and the unique characters so much that as soon as it was over, all I could think to do was to turn back to page 1 and start again.


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