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All the colour in the world : a novel

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  • Author: Richardson, CS.

    A beautifully transporting novel capturing the romantic sweep of the twentieth century—from Toronto in the '20s and '30s through the killing fields of World War II, to 1960s Rome and Florence. Born in 1916, Henry, thin-as-sticks and nearsighted, is an obsessive doodler who shamelessly copies illustrations from his Boys Own magazines. Left in the care of a nurturing, no-nonsense, Shakespeare-quoting, cardsharp grandmother, Henry receives as a gift a pristine set of Faber-Castell colouring pencils (and a pocket knife for the sharpening). He immediately commits each colour to memory—cadmium yellow; light ultramarine; burst ochre; deep scarlet red—and a passion for colour, art, and stories and techniques of the great artists is lit. It will sustain him, and obsess him, on his life’s journey through the joys and sorrows of the twentieth century: from a boyhood spent dreaming of adventure, to the hothouse world of artistic academia, a first love cut short by tragedy, the brutality and lingering wounds of World War II, and, in the final chapters of life, the grace of unexpected love. Projected against an efflorescent backdrop of iconic art masterpieces—from the richly hued oils of the European masters to the technicolour splendour of The Wizard of Oz—All the Colour in the World is Henry’s story: part miscellany, part memory palace, exquisitely precise with the emotional sweep of a great modern romance.

    Subject(s): 1900-1999 | Art | Canada
    Original Publisher: New York, Knopf Canada
    Language(s): English
    ISBN: 9781039003521
    Collection(s)/Series: Scotiabank Giller Prize 2023