‘The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories’ gathers together Lynne Tillman’s groundbreaking fiction/essays on culture and places, monuments, artworks, iconic TV shows, and received ideas, written in the third person to record subtle, ironic, and wry observations of the playful but rigorous “Madame Realism.”
Through her use of a fictional character, Tillman devised a new genre of writing that melded fiction, theory, sensation, and critical thought, disseminating her third-person art writer’s observations in ‘Art in America’ and in a variety of art exhibition catalogs and artist books. Two decades after the original publication of these texts, her approach to investigation through embodied thought has been absorbed by a new generation of artists and writers. Provocative and wholly pleasurable, Tillman’s stories/essays dissect the unusual and the mundane with alarming precision. As Lydia Davis wrote of her work, “Our assumptions shift. The everyday becomes strange, paradox is embraced, and the unexpected is always around the corner.”
This new collection also includes the complete novellas of Tillman’s quixotic author Paige Turner (whose investigation of the language of love overshoots any actual experience of it), and additional stories and essays that address figures such as her own “Translation Artist” and Cindy Sherman.
Lynne Tillman is the author of five novels, four collections of short stories, two collections of essays, and two other nonfiction books. She collaborates often with artists and writes regularly on culture, and her fiction is anthologised widely. Her novel ‘No Lease on Life’ and her second essay collection ‘What Would Lynne Tillman Do?’ were nominated, respectively, for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction (1998) and in Criticism (2014). She if professor and Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at the University at Albany, and a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as an Arts Writers grant from the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital (2015).