Although Siobhán Parkinson is best known as a writer for children, she has written novels for adults as well. She also enjoys writing reviews, essays and conference papers, mostly on the topic of children’s literature. Check out her article in the September 2011 issue of Horn Book Magazine (a leading US publication on children’s literature) or read about her thoughts on children’s reading. Siobhán is an occasional contributor to (and former editor of) Inis, the magazine of Children’s Books Ireland.
Painted Ladies is based on the lives of a colony of painters who lived and worked in the fishing village of Skagen on the very northernmost tip of Denmark towards the end of the 19th century and into the early 1900s.
The main characters in the story (and it is a story, not meant to be an historically accurate account) are Maria Krøyer, who was married to the most prominent of the artists, and Anna Ancher, who was not only the wife of a painter but also a very fine painter herself. Anna Ancher and Peder Severin Krøyer are probably the best known of the painters nowadays, and their work and that of their friends and colleagues is to be seen in art galleries around Scandinavia, especially in Skagensmuseum, a gallery in Skagen (no longer a small village but a busy port and thriving holiday centre) that is dedicated to the work of these painters, and in the Hirschsprung Collection in Copenhagen.
“This book may be read as a thrilling adventure,
but it reflects on broader issues such as the
of the perfection of the life and of the art. The story also
interrogates how realist art, such as the Skagen school’s,
tries to reproduce reality, and how, in the process, it imposes
order on it. … Parkinson’s highly polished mirror captures her
characters but also her own skills as a novelist.”
Mary Shine Thompson, Irish Independent
“While Laureate na nÓg Parkinson is better known for her writing for children and young adults, it would be a shame to overlook this beautifully written novel, her second for adults. Young Danish art student Marie moves to Paris in the late nineteenth century and becomes a part of the bohemian art world. Based on the real lives of painter Peder Severin Krøyer and his wife Marie, this is a vivid reimagining of a love story amid the Skagen art movement.”
Jennifer Ryan, Irish Independent
A rather naïve young woman, keen to get away from her unsatisfactory life, comes to nurse a dying man in an upper-middle-class household in rural Ireland. She senses that all is not well in the household.
“An original and beautifully written novel” Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
Edited by Siobhán Parkinson and Valerie Coghlan, this is a collection of 13 essays by a range of reviewers and critics on Irish writers and illustrators for children, based on a series of articles in Inis magazine.
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