Beyond Measure

By (author): Pauline Holdstock

The art world of mid-16th century Italy comes to life through the eyes of a piebald slave stolen from her home and family in Africa.


Chiara, as she is eventually named, is sold to Paolo Pallavicino, an artist in service of Giuliano de Medici. When several unfortunate incidents occur, the artist’s wife believes her to be a curse and demands that she be sent away. From this starting point, Chiara works her way from painter to painter, observing the games the artists play on each other and the rivalries that fuel their artistic creations.

AUTHOR

Pauline Holdstock

Pauline Holdstock was born in England and moved to Vancouver in 1974. She now lives on Vancouver Island, and is the author of many short stories, essays and anthologies. She was selected as a finalist for the Books In Canada First Novel Award in 1988 for The Blackbird’s Song and in 2002 was awarded first place for fiction by the Federation of BC Writers. Her sixth novel, Beyond Measure, was shortlisted for the 2004 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Reviews

“Holdstock, with a few deft strokes, pulls the reader into the tumultuous life of an alluring rabble of characters: painters, sculptors, patrons, fools, and slaves … In Beyond Measure, she proves herself a master of pacing. Her lively, macabre plot trips lightly along in spite of its dark elements.”
– The Globe and Mail

“This well-executed novel can sit comfortably on any bookshelf alongside work by writers like A.S. Byatt and Jane Urquhart.”
– Vancouver Sun

“In Beyond Measure, Holdstock has created a fascinating portrayal of a society obsessed with surfaces, which sees the creation of beauty as ample justification for torture, mutilation, and murder.”
– Books in Canada

Awards

  • Scotiabank Giller Prize 2004, Short-listed
  • Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2004, Nominated
  • Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize 2005, Winner
  • City of Victoria Butler Book Prize 2005, Nominated
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    The art world of mid-16th century Italy comes to life through the eyes of a piebald slave stolen from her home and family in Africa.

    Chiara, as she is eventually named, is sold to Paolo Pallavicino, an artist in service of Giuliano de Medici. When several unfortunate incidents occur, the artist’s wife believes her to be a curse and demands that she be sent away. From this starting point, Chiara works her way from painter to painter, observing the games the artists play on each other and the rivalries that fuel their artistic creations.

    Reader Reviews

    Details

    Dimensions:

    300 Pages
    8.51in * 5.56in * 1.08in
    440gr

    Published:

    September 13, 2003

    Publisher:

    Cormorant Books

    ISBN:

    9781896951492

    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary

    Featured In:

    All Books

    Language:

    eng

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