In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper

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A truly unprecedented literary achievement by author and editor Lawrence Block, a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, including Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Robert Olen Butler, among many others.

"Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within."

So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.

Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonée, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.

In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.
  • Paperback
  • 9 3/10" x 6 2/5"
  • 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781681772455
Editorial Reviews
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, any of Edward Hopper’s paintings of American loneliness is worth an entire short story. Ekphrasis—seeing a story in a picture—was seldom so much fun.”–Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“This absolutely superb anthology starts out with two advantages: a true legend at the helm in crime writer Lawrence Block, and a fascinating concept. Block’s clout has enticed some huge stars to contribute and each offers a splendid entry based on one of Hopper’s works. But every story is superlative. Hopper, America’s great mournful lyric realist, deserves a tribute of this grace and sensitivity.”–USA Today

“Each contribution is superbly conceived and executed, enhancing the sum of the parts—and each is illustrated with a full-page color image of a Hopper painting that serves as the writer’s inspiration. With stunning imagination, narrative power and arresting prose, each story succeeds individually and contributes to the overarching excellence of Block’s anthology. A unique collection that blends art as literature and literature as art, In Sunlight or in Shadow also explores the origins of inspiration and showcases the brilliance that flows from the fertile psyches of the talented.”–Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Block has assembled a superb and very varied group of writers to spin their own golden thread from Hopper's raw flax. It's a sumptuous production in beautiful hardback.”–Belfast Telegraph

“Edward Hopper, the painter of American loneliness, inspires a selection of short stories from a host of notable writers. This strong collection begins in a spirit of homage but winds up showing how powerful inspiration can be.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Iconic American painter Edward Hopper serves as muse for editor Block and an impressive array of 16 other writers who select their favorite paintings to inspire a short story. A remarkable collection.”–Publishers Weekly

“For anyone who has puzzled over the vividly evocative—yet frustratingly enigmatic—works of the beloved Edward Hopper, this little volume is the perfect gift. Short stories by 17 writers—some famous, like Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, some less so—dramatically start where the paintings leave off.”–San Francisco Chronicle

“Block invited fellow mystery writers and other literary luminaries to pick a Hopper painting and write a story inspired by it. The 17 results are searing and ensnaring, clever, erotic, and disquieting tales of anger and subterfuge, desperation and revenge. A lushly illustrated, darkly alluring, deliciously unnerving union of art and story.”–Booklist (starred)

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