Feast Your Eyes
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.

Feast Your Eyes Details

TitleFeast Your Eyes
Author
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherScribner
ISBN-139781501197840
Rating
GenreFiction, Art, Photography, Literary Fiction, Novels, Historical, Literature, Historical Fiction

Feast Your Eyes Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Myla Goldberg, you are writing genius. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Feast Your Eyes is the story of photographer and mother, Lillian Preston. Lillian connects to photography in high school when she participates in photo club. Her parents have expectations that she’ll attend college and get married as women do in the 1950s. Instead, Lillian moves to New York City to pursue her photography dreams. A small gallery displays semi-nude photos of Lillian and her young daughter, Samantha, which ends in Lillian being arres Myla Goldberg, you are writing genius. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Feast Your Eyes is the story of photographer and mother, Lillian Preston. Lillian connects to photography in high school when she participates in photo club. Her parents have expectations that she’ll attend college and get married as women do in the 1950s. Instead, Lillian moves to New York City to pursue her photography dreams. A small gallery displays semi-nude photos of Lillian and her young daughter, Samantha, which ends in Lillian being arrested and known throughout all the media channels. The attention they receive changes the courses of both of their lives, and Lillian is forever on a quest to legitimize her artistry and talent. Samantha is the narrator of the novel, and she writes of her memories. Lillian’s friends and lovers are interviewed. There are journal entries and letters as well, which all add to the interest and intrigue with this story. All of this comes together into a glorious picture of a woman who seeks to do it all and is criticized for it all. A real woman, a relatable woman, and formidable one. Overall, this an exceptionally told story of the court of public opinion, how it changes lives for good and bad, but beyond that, this is a story of real woman seeking love in her personal life but also in her field of which she adores. This is a gorgeous book, and I’m so grateful to have been affected by it. Thank you to my friend, Cheri, for the beautiful review that inspired me to read this book. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ”Just as I was beginning to worry that waiting was all there would ever be, I picked up a camera – but you know this already. You’re the only one who understands when I say that making pictures makes me fully and truly myself.”Lillian’s love of photography began through her high school photo club, and her love led to a desire to pursue her passion, hoping that one day she would be working as a photographer for a magazine or newspaper. Shortly after her graduation, she forgoes her parents’ plans ”Just as I was beginning to worry that waiting was all there would ever be, I picked up a camera – but you know this already. You’re the only one who understands when I say that making pictures makes me fully and truly myself.”Lillian’s love of photography began through her high school photo club, and her love led to a desire to pursue her passion, hoping that one day she would be working as a photographer for a magazine or newspaper. Shortly after her graduation, she forgoes her parents’ plans for her to attend college and moves to New York City in the mid-1950s.Her story is shared, in part, as a catalog of a photography exhibit, so you are able to see much of her life through her eyes and her vision of capture-worthy moments, her journal entries as well as letters, interviews of friends and lovers, and through her daughter’s eyes and memories. There is in one way, Lillian’s personal story, her journey to become the photographer that would not only shoot beautiful photographs, but one that could share a truth that would move people, never imagining her work would alienate them. Inspired by photographers such as Sally Mann, Diane Arbus and the stories of their struggles as females, as well as female photographers in an era when that was an anomaly, the main story of this is one that Sally Mann is perhaps more associated with. An innocent photograph of a young girl, in Lillian’s case her daughter Samantha, wearing underwear only, is photographed. Sally Mann photographed her children at play, sometimes without clothing, and the description of the censored photograph in Lillian’s story closely matches the newspaper article that followed one of Mann’s photographs on a 1990 cover of Aperture, a photography magazine. The Wall Street Journal, using the same photograph of Mann’s daughter Virginia, placed black bars across her eyes, her chest and her groin, when publishing a decidedly damning article which was written, oddly, by a food critic. Mann’s daughter, Virginia, wrote a letter, in return, saying simply: ”DEAR SIR, I DON’T LIKE THE WAY YOU CROSSED ME OUT.“I WILL BE 6 ON FRIDAY”Keeping in mind that there is less nudity in the photograph taken by Lillian than in the Coppertone billboards that used to populate the entire USA from the 1950s on - featuring a little blonde girl with pigtails, wearing the bottom half of a swimsuit, and a puppy pulling that down – the reaction to the photograph in question might seem questionable, but there is also a story behind the photograph that triggers the headline ”Judge Rules . . . MOMMY IS Sick” in a pre-Roe v Wade era. The politics of public opinion, and the unequal opportunities afforded women are focused on in a more obvious way, but underlying this is a story of love and passion, a love and passion for doing what we love and loving what we do, what brings us joy, shapes our lives. How those we love can build us up, or bend us and sometimes even break us, and how to rebuild that which has been bent and broken. The bond between mothers and daughters that is sometimes frayed beyond measure, but is always a part of who we become.Lovely, if sometimes heartbreaking, I loved this story, fell completely under its spell, and highly recommend it. I’m pretty sure I left a piece of my heart in the last pages.Pub Date: 16 Apr 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Scribner
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Just as I was beginning to worry that waiting was all there would ever be, I picked up a camera- but you know this already.' Myla Goldberg states in her acknowledgements that she was inspired by the life and work of people like Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, and Harold Feinstein (just to name a few) and it certainly shows in the creation of her fictional character, Lillian Preston. This novel is beautiful, we are able to feast our own eyes on subject via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Just as I was beginning to worry that waiting was all there would ever be, I picked up a camera- but you know this already.' Myla Goldberg states in her acknowledgements that she was inspired by the life and work of people like Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, and Harold Feinstein (just to name a few) and it certainly shows in the creation of her fictional character, Lillian Preston. This novel is beautiful, we are able to feast our own eyes on subjects Lillian photographs as much as the life of a photographer. Rather than stating someone is a photographer, the reader is witness to the inspiration and expression of Lillian’s passions, of breaking out of her ‘cage’ when she was young, and the consequences self-expression through art costs her child and parents, anyone that is both inside or outside her orbit. Feast Your Eyes is a love story of pictures but more so of mother and daughter and it isn’t always pretty. The ending gutted me, as a mother and as a daughter because I could feel the pain of both, all the regrets.Lillian is born with hungry eyes, her purpose is to strip people naked through her series of work, sometimes shocking and vulgar making her the ‘Worse Mother in the World’ and other times going without notice. A field trip when she is young, a ‘rocket in her chest’ when she sees photographs hanging in museums, a pivotal moment shaping her future, Lillian knows she will one day have her own upon such walls. Her reasons are never about attention seeking nor fame, but always telling a story, as with her most infamous photos which her daughter is haunted by. Samantha is mostly nude in the damaging series, but worse is Lillian’s abortion photo. Having grown up in the fifties, being on ‘photo safaris’ in the streets of New York Samantha grows up free to roam the city, a child that is fiercely loved by Lillian (there is no doubt about that) but whose mother’s focus is always first and foremost her camera. Her work is her life, as vital as oxygen.“Mommy is sick”, at least a judge rules it to be true but those ‘vulgar photos verging on the pornographic (according to some)’ don’t make up the majority of Lillian’s work, so much overlooked because it isn’t ‘shocking’. The novel finds Samantha cataloging her mother’s work for a show, as Lillian is no longer alive. We journey through the memories, the friends, the strangers and the bond between Samantha and Lillian that sours and forces Samantha’s disappearance from her mother’s life. “Mommy is sick” ends up being a precursor of sorts, but I won’t go into that. Her notoriety ruins her chances for a successful career, but still… her work continues. It is the story of artist, subjects and what it means to come of age beside a creative genius, whether the rest of the world acknowledges their gift with praise or in horror labels said artist as a degenerate. It is fiercely engaging, and Lillian is ahead of her time, as many artists are. Her eyes feast upon the world and tell stories, ‘jolt’ viewers by exposing both the obvious and unseen. In strangers, we recognize ourselves, our pride, anger, poverty, love, sickness, strength… every situation and emotion one can scrape up on the streets. Her camera is there, a witness like God, to the very last blink of Lillian’s life- that is one of the most beautiful endings I’ve read. It’s not about the posing for her, it’s not about showing the world or people as they wish to be seen but instead, as they really are.Of course Samantha changes as she grows up, no longer an extension of her mother like the camera. As Lillian once removed herself from her own parents and their ordinary life in Cleveland, knowing she was meant ‘live differently from others’, her own girl craves stability, affection when she learns she has grandparents. That her girl could come from her body and be so vastly different is all too familiar a truth mothers must accept. Samantha and Lillian are the biggest love story in the novel, going between immense affection to resentment (Samantha), testing the waters of teenage angst, Samantha must remove herself to understand who she is without Lillian, acts out as most children do, as a form of punishment, assuming her mother is immortal and will always be there to make up with. Those photos return and drive a deep wedge.There is a lot of story in the cataloging, and the photographs are beautifully described to the point of painting it in the reader’s mind. It’s a bohemian life, but not for show as it was for some people during certain decades, trying so hard to be ‘other than’. Lillian really is an original, and being different is always a sore spot for children. Samantha struggles with embracing and rejecting her mother as artist, but it can be no other way, for it is her mother’s very makeup. There is a line that expresses the period of time Samantha shucks off her mother, “in the spirit of self-destruction and self-discovery”, for it can be no other way.Somehow this novel manages to be many things and Goldberg keeps it all flowing. My heart broke at the end, it’s too close to recent losses in my life. I really caught my breath at the writing, Lillian’s final moments are so much in keeping with her character. I don’t know if my review is doing this novel the justice it deserves, all I can say is I loved it. Most people fancy themselves photographers these days and it goes without saying there is an over abundance of artifice with selfies, it’s evident so many of the pictures we see are manufactured and that makes this story all the more appealing, because there is an authenticity to Lillian that does honor to the work of people like Diane Arbus. Artists who are using their medium to relate to the world, to explain it or question it in the only way they can. It can seem shallow at times, certainly a compulsion but one must recognize it is used to express love as well, as with any pictures of Samantha. One must consider the self, and how desperately Samantha wants to be her own person, it’s so hard to do when your mother has always defined you it’s just sad what it costs her, time that can’t be given back.Yes read it!Publication Date: April 16, 2019Scribner
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  • Drew
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this. A story of photography, of New York, of art, of mothers and daughters, of love and time. Goldberg's structure is a joy, and I thrilled to imagine each of the 118 photographs -- but to also see the exploration of Lillian Preston as a person, as told through her own writings and the thoughts of others. It doesn't feel entirely like a traditional gallery guide, but maybe gallery guides ought to feel more like this than they currently do, you know?
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  • Melissa Dee
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful book. I was dubious about the conceit of writing the novel in the form of a museum catalogue, but Goldberg handled this so well. In my memory, I see the photos she described as if they were part of the novel itself. From the annotations of Lillian’s journal, her daughter’s interviews with roommates, parents and lovers, and the daughter’s own memories, we come to know so many facets of the woman as she developed over time. "Some mornings I’m so heavy with dread I can hardly move. What a beautiful book. I was dubious about the conceit of writing the novel in the form of a museum catalogue, but Goldberg handled this so well. In my memory, I see the photos she described as if they were part of the novel itself. From the annotations of Lillian’s journal, her daughter’s interviews with roommates, parents and lovers, and the daughter’s own memories, we come to know so many facets of the woman as she developed over time. "Some mornings I’m so heavy with dread I can hardly move.” What mother hasn’t felt like that at some point? And Lillian has so much talent and such a compelling drive to exercise that talent. It is hard to imagine her choosing to share her life with a child, and yet how impossible to imagine her life without her daughter Samantha in it. The characters in “Feast Your Eyes” are multi-dimensional and sympathetic. I very much look forward to the publication of this novel and to discussing it with others.I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Lynne
    January 1, 1970
    A must read book for anyone remotely interested in photographic art! Especially women. This is a wonderfully presented book about the life of an artist. Her passion drives her life. The camera is an appendage of her as is the dark room. We see the impact of the times (1950-1970’s) and their impact on culture. Having recently visited the MOMA, it was especially meaningful for me.
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  • Sharon Mensing
    January 1, 1970
    This book is brilliant! Lillian Preston is a photographer during the 1960's and 70's, and Samantha is both her daughter and the subject of a series of highly controversial photos. The book is told from Samantha's perspective after Lillian's death, in an epistolary manner. Most of the book is framed as a catalogue for a MOMA show of Lillian's work, with each piece titled, dated, and interpreted. Additional exposition is contained in Lillian's diary entries, letters to a life-long friend, and othe This book is brilliant! Lillian Preston is a photographer during the 1960's and 70's, and Samantha is both her daughter and the subject of a series of highly controversial photos. The book is told from Samantha's perspective after Lillian's death, in an epistolary manner. Most of the book is framed as a catalogue for a MOMA show of Lillian's work, with each piece titled, dated, and interpreted. Additional exposition is contained in Lillian's diary entries, letters to a life-long friend, and other documents. While this sounds as though it might be jarring, Goldberg masterfully weaves Samantha's coming of age, Lillian's struggles with social and economic mores, a sense of the societal changes taking place in the 60's and 70's, and the relationship between Lillian and Samantha into these individual documents. The use of the photographic catalogue is so well done that it's almost impossible to believe that these photos do not actually exist outside of the novel. Goldberg's characterization is complete, making not only the mother/daughter duo come to life, but also the supporting characters. Her understanding of the challenges of single motherhood and their impact on both mother and daughter is astounding. Because it made me think deeply about motherhood, about the role of professional women in the 60's and 70's, and about photography, this was one of the best books I've read in a very long time. It felt like life, not words on a page.
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  • Diane Payne
    January 1, 1970
    In the beginning of the novel, there's an explanation describing how the book came about, but it didn't feel like a preface, but an actual part of the novel, a part that seemed unnecessary now that I have finished the novel. The setup of the novel is an interesting way to show the life of a photographer during the 60's and 70's, and her relationship with her daughter, which became controversial after a collection of photos were deemed obscene. Interesting read.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Read The Bee Season long ago and eagerly anticipated this book. 4.5 but rounding up. A truly impactful book.--sometimes difficult to read because it was so full of raw emotion.A story of dysfunction, photography, mothers and daughters, relationships, and more. Social mores and social change. The '60s and '70s; this book is chock full of everything.Written as a catalogue [but so much more] of the late Lillian/Lilly Preston's photographs by her daughter, Samantha/Jane, with intervening dialogue fr Read The Bee Season long ago and eagerly anticipated this book. 4.5 but rounding up. A truly impactful book.--sometimes difficult to read because it was so full of raw emotion.A story of dysfunction, photography, mothers and daughters, relationships, and more. Social mores and social change. The '60s and '70s; this book is chock full of everything.Written as a catalogue [but so much more] of the late Lillian/Lilly Preston's photographs by her daughter, Samantha/Jane, with intervening dialogue from friends.The first quarter was somewhat of a struggle, but it was so beautifully written that I took my time and slowly got into the rhythm and became more engaged. Some of the descriptions were breathtaking:"grim treadmill of adolescence""...taken us for a pair of deaf-mutes, considering how thorough we weren't speaking to each other""her eyes reached out to me like hands" and more.The latter third of the book I couldn't put down. I particularly loved the descriptions and interactions between Samantha and her grandparents. Vivid. My only disconnect was I thought one [small] part too contrived--I saw it coming and wondered why it was necessary. And the last part of the book seems very sped up considering the pacing of all that preceded it.But highly recommend. Take your time to read and savor it.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This book blew me away. Incredible. Best book that I have read in years. It is work. This is not a quick easy page turner that entrances you along. My brain had to work with the descriptions, no not even your brain but your heart with each page. You have to imagine each description. Yes some parts tedious. Yes one part contrived. But the powerful emotions hit me hard. This book made me realize that reading has been one of the best parts of my life. Thank u A.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    A compelling story of a photographer, Lilly, as told through her journal entries and letters, interviews with her friends, and her daughter Samantha's memories and are interspersed with a catalog with descriptions of her work for an art exhibit. Both Lillian's and Samantha's lives were shaped to an extent by a series of eight highly controversial photos taken by Lilly of Samantha as a young child. The book speaks to the times in that it shows the inequality of men and women, the struggles of a s A compelling story of a photographer, Lilly, as told through her journal entries and letters, interviews with her friends, and her daughter Samantha's memories and are interspersed with a catalog with descriptions of her work for an art exhibit. Both Lillian's and Samantha's lives were shaped to an extent by a series of eight highly controversial photos taken by Lilly of Samantha as a young child. The book speaks to the times in that it shows the inequality of men and women, the struggles of a single mom, how public opinion sways justice. Lilly was a very talented photographer who was a compulsive perfectionist about her art - it absorbed her completely. This almost read like a memoir rather than fiction. Very well done!Thanks to Myla Goldberg and Scribner through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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  • Lorri Steinbacher
    January 1, 1970
    Possibly my favorite book of the year so far. Written in the form as a catalog for an exhibition of photographs by fictional photographer Lillian Preston, interspersed with journal entries and interviews that fill in the blanks, the story begins to appear just as if you are immersing photographic paper in developing solution. You find the story faintly, then as it begins to "develop" the story becomes much clearer. The question remains--is the finished product a clear image or is it blurred with Possibly my favorite book of the year so far. Written in the form as a catalog for an exhibition of photographs by fictional photographer Lillian Preston, interspersed with journal entries and interviews that fill in the blanks, the story begins to appear just as if you are immersing photographic paper in developing solution. You find the story faintly, then as it begins to "develop" the story becomes much clearer. The question remains--is the finished product a clear image or is it blurred wither by the creators hand or the developing process?The book has much to say about what it means to be a woman and a mother and an artist, in a time when being just one of those things was hard enough. Lillian makes choices for her art that reverberate through the life of her daughter. Does she sacrifice her daughter's life for her art or does her daughter become who she is because of it.Goldberg's done her research. The obvious comparison will be to Sally Mann, but there are shades of Lee Miller, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and other pioneering photographers in her portrayal of Lillian.Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction about mid-century women who defy tradition, anyone interested in the artistic process, or a fan of stories about mother-daughter dynamics.I will also recommend Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto if you are interested in fiction about groundbreaking photographers.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 the raw and powerful impact of parent/child relationships and what exactly defines/destroys/ undermines/forever alters the axis that their planet travels.
  • Karen Raskin
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 stars. Excellent book, original format, memorable characters whom we get to know through letters and journal entries. Last scene was particularly beautiful.
  • Kerry Pickens
    January 1, 1970
    This book is written like a museum catalog or a scrapbook. I didn't care for the style of writing, and was disappointed as I was looking forward to reading it.
  • Paul Pessolano
    January 1, 1970
    “feast your eyes” by Myla Goldberg, published by Scribner.Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – April 16, 2019.If you are looking for an extraordinary read, not only is this an exceptional story that is well written but it allows the reader to visualize the photography of Lillian Preston. The story is very reminiscent of the life of Sally Mann whose life is tied closely to the main character. Lillian is her own person, she goes against her parents wishes and becomes a photographer who “feast your eyes” by Myla Goldberg, published by Scribner.Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – April 16, 2019.If you are looking for an extraordinary read, not only is this an exceptional story that is well written but it allows the reader to visualize the photography of Lillian Preston. The story is very reminiscent of the life of Sally Mann whose life is tied closely to the main character. Lillian is her own person, she goes against her parents wishes and becomes a photographer who takes nude pictures of herself and her young daughter, Samantha. These photographs become a problem for both Lillian and Samantha as they become involved in a court case regarding obscenity. Lillian becomes torn between the photographs and her rights, while Samantha finds herself haunted by them her entire life. It becomes such a problem that she prefers now to be called by her second name, Jane. Lillian becomes estranged from her parents while Samantha (Jane) finds solace in their company. As both Lillian and Jane go through the rigors of their lives, Lillian’s father becomes ill and a sort of reconciliation is achieved. However, their lives become much closer as Lillian is diagnosed with leukemia.This story is told through photographs that Lillian takes and the reader can visualize, there are no pictures in the book. This is coupled with Samantha memories, journals and letters from Lillian, and stories told to Samantha by Lillian’s friends.This is an extraordinary book, told in an extraordinary way, with an unexpected ending.
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  • Mary Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Written in the form of a museum catalog, Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg tells the story of the life and photographic work of Lillian Preston. In 1955, Lilly flees Cleveland after high school to go to New York City to attend photography school, to the dismay of her conservative parents. Soon she is perfecting her technique and moving in a circle of artists, poets and young New Yorkers. After having a child out of wedlock at 19, she continues to subsist on a bookstore job and waitressing while p Written in the form of a museum catalog, Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg tells the story of the life and photographic work of Lillian Preston. In 1955, Lilly flees Cleveland after high school to go to New York City to attend photography school, to the dismay of her conservative parents. Soon she is perfecting her technique and moving in a circle of artists, poets and young New Yorkers. After having a child out of wedlock at 19, she continues to subsist on a bookstore job and waitressing while pursuing her photography. The controversy over an exhibit produced by a new-friend and gallery owner drives a wedge in her art, in her relationships, and in her daughters view of her and the world. Told alternately by her daughter describing the prints in the exhibition, interspersed with journal entries and letters to friends, lovers and Lilly's parents, we follow the mother and daughter through a rocky relationship with each other and with Lilly's art. The story telling is intense and intimate, coming full circle as Lilly battles Leukemia in the 1970s while Samantah Jane enters college. Her daughter does not reckon with Lilly's art until well after her mother's death, and then begins to understand the controversy and the decisions they each made in reaction to the controversy and in reaction to each other. Well written and engaging, highly recommended.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Feast Your Eyes, a beautiful, complicated book about a woman trying to be a mother and an artist in a time — New York from the late 50s to early 70s — when being the first precluded the second and no photographers, let alone women photographers, were thought to be artists, anyway. Myla Goldberg brings this whole challenging world so vividly to life. The novel is constructed as the catalogue for a posthumous exhibition of Lillian Preston’s work, with commentary by her daughter and one-tim I loved Feast Your Eyes, a beautiful, complicated book about a woman trying to be a mother and an artist in a time — New York from the late 50s to early 70s — when being the first precluded the second and no photographers, let alone women photographers, were thought to be artists, anyway. Myla Goldberg brings this whole challenging world so vividly to life. The novel is constructed as the catalogue for a posthumous exhibition of Lillian Preston’s work, with commentary by her daughter and one-time subject, Samantha; journal entries; letters; and of course descriptions of the photographs including the one, Mommy Is Sick--a portrait of herself and Samantha while Lillian recovers from an illegal abortion--for which she was arrested and charged with child endangerment. While we might want to think the era of this novel is as old fashioned as the Brooklyn stoops and stick ball players in Preston's photographs, its probing exploration of art and motherhood is painfully timely. I couldn't put the book down, and I didn't want it to end.
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  • Amy Lively
    January 1, 1970
    I could never quite decide if I envied or pitied Lillian for her devotion to her work. I have had times in my life when I wanted to shut out the world and just eliminate everything to stood in the way of me throwing myself into my project of the moment. If you can relate, you should read this book. If you have a complicated relationship with your parents, this is for you, too. If you are a fan of street photography, well, it almost goes without saying that you will want to read this. The unique I could never quite decide if I envied or pitied Lillian for her devotion to her work. I have had times in my life when I wanted to shut out the world and just eliminate everything to stood in the way of me throwing myself into my project of the moment. If you can relate, you should read this book. If you have a complicated relationship with your parents, this is for you, too. If you are a fan of street photography, well, it almost goes without saying that you will want to read this. The unique style of framing the novel as a museum catalog is well done (something that Taylor Jenkins Reid was not able to pull off very well in Daisy Jones.) It takes some talent to describe so many photographs in such detail that you don’t even need to see them but Goldberg did it wonderfully. I found myself stopping from time to time, “seeing” the photo in my mind. The writing is beautiful and the characters are honest. (I would love to pass out certain excerpts to those who would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.)
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Terrific! The story of Lillian and her daughter Samantha is told primarily through the notes on the catalogue for Lillian's show at the Museum of Modern Art. There are also letters from Lillian to a friend and Samantha's voice comes through as well- including her own doubts. A photographer, Lillian broke a lot of the social norms her family held dear. She enraged people with her photos of Samantha and herself. Much like Sally Mann, Lillian showed her daughter (and herself) in the nude, leading s Terrific! The story of Lillian and her daughter Samantha is told primarily through the notes on the catalogue for Lillian's show at the Museum of Modern Art. There are also letters from Lillian to a friend and Samantha's voice comes through as well- including her own doubts. A photographer, Lillian broke a lot of the social norms her family held dear. She enraged people with her photos of Samantha and herself. Much like Sally Mann, Lillian showed her daughter (and herself) in the nude, leading some to shout that she was a pornographer and showdown in court. Unafraid, Lillian also showed photos of her own abortion. Wow. Those who remember the noise about Mann and Maplethorpe will hear echoes here but Goldberg has created an entirely unique, not always likable but completely fascinating character in Lillian (and Samantha as well). Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is well written and an excellent read.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Myla Goldberg is such a good writer. I loved Bee Season and was anxiously awaiting this book. It did not disappoint. Feast Your Eyes is about Lilian who is a photographer and a single-mother. It's a story about being a woman in the 50s, being willing to pursue your dreams, take chances, make a statement. The book is told from the perspective of Samantha, her daughter, who interviews Lilian's friends and colleagues. She also includes journal entries and letters. When you listen to this book on au Myla Goldberg is such a good writer. I loved Bee Season and was anxiously awaiting this book. It did not disappoint. Feast Your Eyes is about Lilian who is a photographer and a single-mother. It's a story about being a woman in the 50s, being willing to pursue your dreams, take chances, make a statement. The book is told from the perspective of Samantha, her daughter, who interviews Lilian's friends and colleagues. She also includes journal entries and letters. When you listen to this book on audio is actually has a bit of a similar structure to Daisy Jones but it's a completely different topic.This is a beautiful story about the unintended consequences of a moment in public, the multi-layered texture of loving both your job and your kids, the journey of finding yourself and trying to find freedom in the 50s as a woman. It's a beautiful story and it's beautifully told.
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  • Ben
    January 1, 1970
    Any time you have a novel that tries to blend multiple perspectives and voices, it has to nail making them distinct, otherwise you run the risk of having 4 or 5 characters that all sound like the same person. Myla Goldberg's Feast Your Eyes add on the additional difficulty of framing her latest novel as the accompanying catalog for a MoMA exhibition of her main character's photography, as authored by her daughter.The book pulls this off with aplomb - the photos (which we never see) are described Any time you have a novel that tries to blend multiple perspectives and voices, it has to nail making them distinct, otherwise you run the risk of having 4 or 5 characters that all sound like the same person. Myla Goldberg's Feast Your Eyes add on the additional difficulty of framing her latest novel as the accompanying catalog for a MoMA exhibition of her main character's photography, as authored by her daughter.The book pulls this off with aplomb - the photos (which we never see) are described in a way that makes them real in the mind, and the supporting interviews, journal entries, and remembrances from her daughter build a picture of who this artist was, how her relationships with the people around her changed, and what became of everyone. I love books that play with format, so I came to it for the art catalogue-y details and layout, but found myself very impressed with the characters as well.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for this review.
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  • Elizabeth Garber
    January 1, 1970
    Fortunately I had a cold, so I went to bed for two days and just read this completely absorbing portrait of a photographer's relentless drive to develop a piercing portrait of life in NYC. At the same time, between the 50s to 70s, as a woman photographer, she is caught as a single mom in the brutality of poverty, fighting to survive and the cultural condemnation of natural nudity as part of her home life that she photographed. Goldberg's accomplishment is to bring a richly imagined woman to life Fortunately I had a cold, so I went to bed for two days and just read this completely absorbing portrait of a photographer's relentless drive to develop a piercing portrait of life in NYC. At the same time, between the 50s to 70s, as a woman photographer, she is caught as a single mom in the brutality of poverty, fighting to survive and the cultural condemnation of natural nudity as part of her home life that she photographed. Goldberg's accomplishment is to bring a richly imagined woman to life from created journals, letters, interviews and her daughter's reflections. Her research brings to life this portrait of pre Roe-v-Wade America and the brutality of imprisoned women. I found her framing the story as a photography show catalog is boldly imaginative and successful, and at the same time, she creates a complete photography show that comes to life in our mind's eye. We have seen all of them!. This story will stay with me a long time. Thank you!
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  • Christina Gamiño
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure:I haven't read this book yet, but rated it because I love the author and so I could ask a question. (Kinda new to Goodreads so not sure if this is the best way to do this!) Anyway, as soon as I read the summary of this book, it immediately reminded me of another book I read, Black and White, by Dani Shapiro. Anyone else have the same experience? Same basic idea, a famous photographer mother who takes nude or semi-nude pictures of her young daughter and the pictures become famous Full disclosure:I haven't read this book yet, but rated it because I love the author and so I could ask a question. (Kinda new to Goodreads so not sure if this is the best way to do this!) Anyway, as soon as I read the summary of this book, it immediately reminded me of another book I read, Black and White, by Dani Shapiro. Anyone else have the same experience? Same basic idea, a famous photographer mother who takes nude or semi-nude pictures of her young daughter and the pictures become famous and the daughter is very resentful of her mother for most of her life... I can tell from the reviews that there are some differences, especially in how the novel is written, but I just thought it was so similar to this other book. Just curious if anyone else thinks so as well? And if so, would it be worth it to read this one? I do love the author...
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  • Debra Branigan
    January 1, 1970
    Lillian Preston is a passionate photographer during the 1960's and 70's, and a single mother in New York City. At some point, she photographs her young daughter Samantha in a series of controversial photos that ultimately affects their life and their relationship forever. The book is written from Samantha's perspective in an unusual format. The book is designed as a catalogue for an art show with each photograph titled, dated, and interpreted by Samantha. Additional information that tell the sto Lillian Preston is a passionate photographer during the 1960's and 70's, and a single mother in New York City. At some point, she photographs her young daughter Samantha in a series of controversial photos that ultimately affects their life and their relationship forever. The book is written from Samantha's perspective in an unusual format. The book is designed as a catalogue for an art show with each photograph titled, dated, and interpreted by Samantha. Additional information that tell the story are Lillian's diary, letters to friends, etc. This sounds awkward, but it seamlessly unfolds the story of Lillian and her daughter Samantha.I really enjoyed this book and gave it a 5 star rating. I felt the author really captured the struggle of a single woman and mother in that era as well as the struggle for artistic expression. This novel and its characters are very complex and would be a fantastic group read leading to some very rich discussions. A goodreads giveaway which I am glad I won and my own opinion is offered.
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  • Joannarom
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant novel about art (photography), mothers and daughters, courage and strength, what life was like before Roe v. Wade, the challenge of being an artist and being a woman. Couldn't put it down. It just came out, but someone mentioned it in passing on Friday and I was able to get it immediately from the library. The conceit is a catalog for a photography exhibition, no photos. (I love gimmicky books, epistolary novels. I think this one works brilliantly.) Very excited that author will be at Brilliant novel about art (photography), mothers and daughters, courage and strength, what life was like before Roe v. Wade, the challenge of being an artist and being a woman. Couldn't put it down. It just came out, but someone mentioned it in passing on Friday and I was able to get it immediately from the library. The conceit is a catalog for a photography exhibition, no photos. (I love gimmicky books, epistolary novels. I think this one works brilliantly.) Very excited that author will be at our local bookstore at a time that actually doesn't conflict with other commitments. Hope there will be more buzz about this. “Domestic Fiction” is a misnomer, it’s about AN ARTIST.
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  • Dianah
    January 1, 1970
    Myla Goldberg delivers a brilliant story of a woman whose life is informed almost completely by her art. Lillian spends every spare minute honing her passion for photography, and is thrilled when she gets her first show in a gallery. When photos Lillian took of her daughter are declared obscene, an arrest, a prison stint, and lawsuit after lawsuit blow Lillian's world apart -- dragging her daughter along for the ride. Goldberg digs deep into the murky morass of mother/daughter relationships, wit Myla Goldberg delivers a brilliant story of a woman whose life is informed almost completely by her art. Lillian spends every spare minute honing her passion for photography, and is thrilled when she gets her first show in a gallery. When photos Lillian took of her daughter are declared obscene, an arrest, a prison stint, and lawsuit after lawsuit blow Lillian's world apart -- dragging her daughter along for the ride. Goldberg digs deep into the murky morass of mother/daughter relationships, with both the ugliness and beauty they almost always contain, and the results are stunning. Written with surgical precision and poignant warmth, Feast Your Eyes is a knockout novel. Excellent!
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  • Moira
    January 1, 1970
    If a picture is worth a thousand words than a story about 118 pictures is worth the read. I have never wished for there to pictures in a novel as much as I did with this book. The book examines the fictional world of a quasi-famous photographer through her work as she discovers who she is versus who should be based on societal norms. As the story progresses you can sense that Samantha is finally understanding who her mother outside the role of motherhood. Thank you to @goodreads and @ScriberBook If a picture is worth a thousand words than a story about 118 pictures is worth the read. I have never wished for there to pictures in a novel as much as I did with this book. The book examines the fictional world of a quasi-famous photographer through her work as she discovers who she is versus who should be based on societal norms. As the story progresses you can sense that Samantha is finally understanding who her mother outside the role of motherhood. Thank you to @goodreads and @ScriberBooks for this fascinating novel.
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  • Shelly Ibok
    January 1, 1970
    A book you won’t want to put down. The author seamlessly flips between viewpoints without detracting from the storyline. You’ll feel a connection with each protagonist and antagonist. There are no hero’s or villains in this story, just real people. It’s fascinating how the author makes you wish main characters were real, so you could go online and view their works of art!
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  • Dennis McClure
    January 1, 1970
    It's very difficult to review Goldberg. She is in a class by herself. The format is unique. A mixture of journal entries, letters, reviews of photographs... in that sense it's pure Goldberg. But she is so dead on. She so gets it. And she reaches so deep. You wind up understanding. Even if you didn't want to.
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