Summary and book reviews of Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg

Feast Your Eyes

by Myla Goldberg

Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg X
Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2019, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 18, 2020, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The first novel in nearly a decade from Myla Goldberg, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Bee Season - a compelling and wholly original story about a female photographer grappling with ambition and motherhood, a balancing act familiar to women of every generation.

Feast Your Eyes, framed as the catalogue notes from a photography show at the Museum of Modern Art, tells the life story of Lillian Preston: "America's Worst Mother, America's Bravest Mother, America's Worst Photographer, or America's Greatest Photographer, depending on who was talking." After discovering photography as a teenager through her high school's photo club, Lillian rejects her parents' expectations of college and marriage and moves to New York City in 1955. When a small gallery exhibits partially nude photographs of Lillian and her daughter Samantha, Lillian is arrested, thrust into the national spotlight, and targeted with an obscenity charge. Mother and daughter's sudden notoriety changes the course of both of their lives and especially Lillian's career as she continues a life-long quest for artistic legitimacy and recognition.

Narrated by Samantha, Feast Your Eyes reads as a collection of Samantha's memories, interviews with Lillian's friends and lovers, and excerpts from Lillian's journals and letters - a collage of stories and impressions, together amounting to an astounding portrait of a mother and an artist dedicated, above all, to a vision of beauty, truth, and authenticity.

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. The novel itself is the catalogue from Lillian Preston's photography exhibit at MoMA. What do we gain from this nontraditional narrative framing? Does it grant us better insight into the characters? The photography?
  2. The catalogue begins: "Feast your eyes, America. Here she is: America's Worst Mother, America's Bravest Mother, America's Worst Photographer, or America's Greatest Photographer." What does this proclamation reveal about the expectations of women as mothers and artists? How does it set the stage for what unfolds?
  3. On page 32, it's noted that Lillian's portraits, which often featured nudity, "were a way for her to study what lay at the core of people." How does this concept of nudity differ from that of a male artist depicting ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Feast Your Eyes will undoubtably win Goldberg many well-deserved accolades; her gorgeous writing, compelling subject, and ingenious format make the novel a true stand-out. It will appeal to those who enjoy literary, character-driven novels, and would also make a wonderful book group selection...continued

Full Review (611 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is a memorable portrait of one artist's life.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A riveting portrait of an artist who happens to be a woman.

Booklist (starred review)
This is a novel of infinite depth, of caring authenticity both intimate and societal, of mothers and daughters, art and pain, and transcendent love.

Author Blurb Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
This is an unflinching, deeply moving portrait of the artist, and a bravura performance in and of itself. I loved this book.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Controversial 20th Century Female Photographers

Lillian Preston, the photographer at the heart of Feast Your Eyes, is fictional, but there are a number of controversial 20th century female photographers on whom she could be based, including Diane Arbus (1923-1971), Irina Ionesco (b.1930) and Sally Mann (b.1951).

Diane ArbusBorn Diane Nemerov, 18-year-old Diane Arbus received her first camera from her husband Allan shortly after their marriage. Together they opened a photography studio after WWII and sold their photos to magazines such as Vogue, but neither really enjoyed the work. Arbus eventually turned her attention to less structured, more spontaneous photography, roaming the streets of New York City with her camera. Esquire published her first photo essay in 1960, after which she gained ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Myla Goldberg

If you liked Feast Your Eyes, try these:

  • Fake Like Me jacket

    Fake Like Me

    by Barbara Bourland

    Published 2019

    About this book

    At once a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure and a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene, Fake Like Me is a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry, from the critically acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead.

  • The Girls in the Picture jacket

    The Girls in the Picture

    by Melanie Benjamin

    Published 2019

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator's Wife, a fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood's earliest female legends - screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Price We Pay
    The Price We Pay
    by Marty Makary
    The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest affidavits in history, originating in ancient Greece. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Fountains of Silence
    The Fountains of Silence
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a complicated period in history. The issues each side ...
  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Nothing to See Here
    by Kevin Wilson

    A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning caring for two children with remarkable abilities.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.