Brilliant! A beautiful story. A sad story. A real story. Brilliant! -Randy's April Staff Pick, 2016
In many ways, “Tuesday Nights in 1980″ is a love letter to Manhattan at the dawn of an adventurous decade. The city is dirty and grimy; there’s no pristine Times Square or gentrified Greenwich Village, but there is a vibrant art scene in full swing, helmed by folks like Andy Warhol.
By setting her debut novel in this era, Prentiss has the luxury of utilizing the brash inventiveness of New York’s art world as character itself. The scene is not pretty; it’s a gossipy, creative and cutthroat world that devours the weak. It is against this backdrop that she introduces three characters—an art critic, a painter from Argentina who has come to America to escape his past and a small town girl making her way in a big new world.
The book is a another breakout work for Prentiss who displays a delicate craftsmanship in her storytelling. As these characters dodge and weave into and around each other’s lives she skillfully builds toward a crescendo that will leave an indelible mark upon their lives and their art.
Another interesting component of her novel is that each of her protagonists is flawed in some way. By using an artist, a critic and a newbie who becomes an artistic muse, Prentiss explores a time when Soho’s art scene was still a subversive movement where creativity was tenaciously born amidst the muck of chaos. This allows each of her creations to face challenges in finding success and acceptance while simultaneously forcing them into develop their own rapport between life and art.
Manhattan itself, in all of sleazy glory, is a character unto itself. Its day-to-day grind can both stifle and stimulate creativity. Its movements in art, music, film and theater are smoldering underground, waiting to burst to the surface by the end of the new decade and reshape the city itself as the artistic capital of the universe.
“Tuesday Nights in 1980″ is a precise and affectionate work of dramatic fiction that explores the dynamism between art and life as it embodies the hopes, dreams and aspiration of artists looking to find their path in the dingy playground of Manhattan’s underground.
- See more at: http://www.alivemag.com/blog/index.php/2016/04/5-recomended-reads-for-april/#sthash.v6UGX68u.dpuf— From 04-2016
“A synesthetic art critic rises to prominence by capturing the je ne sais quoi of great new paintings in terms of sound, aura, and taste. A young painter escapes war in his native Argentina to bring his unusual portraits to New York. A wide-eyed farm girl leaves home for the gritty promise of the big city, destined to become a muse of the art scene. The web between these characters becomes increasingly tangled as 1980 progresses in all its dark glamour. Prentiss captures raw ambition, startled joy, and aching tragedy equally well to produce a thought-provoking, originally textured novel that both transports and awes.”
— Richael Best (W), The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA