Cleveland, 1910: For a poor girl whose father has abandoned her, the prospect of becoming an artist is almost non-existent. But Bernice Abbott is resourceful and will happily challenge convention in order to succeed. Setting out to fulfill her dream, she embarks on a journey that will take her from bohemian Greenwich Village to the giddy cafés of 1920s Paris to a New York rising from the ashes of the Great Depression. On the way, illness and a tragic romance test her mettle, but a lucky coincidence leads her to the emerging art form of photography. Transforming herself from 'dull' Bernice to cosmopolitan Berenice, she sets the tone for life as a portrait photographer in the Paris of Hemingway and Picasso, and prepares to take on the men who are threatened by her vision and strength.
Sarah Coleman has written about photography, visual art and film for publications including ARTnews, Salon, Communication Arts, Photo District News and View Camera. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Columbia University and has done artist residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She blogs about photography and literature at theliteratelens.com, and lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY with her husband and two children. This is her first novel.