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The Book


Tortured Artists Book Cover

2012, Adams Media, a division of F+W, 272 pp

About Tortured Artists

It is sometimes said that all great art comes from pain. Van Gogh painted The Starry Night while in emotional torment; Lennon and McCartney forged their creative partnership following the death of their respective mothers; Milton penned Paradise Lost after losing his wife, his daughter, and his eyesight. Such unremitting grief would send even the most grounded among us into a frenzied Xanax binge and associated fetal position, but these celebrated artists chose not to recoil in passive suffering. Instead, they turned their sorrow into something the world would cherish.

Tortured Artists examines the maladies that drive creative types to the brink of despair and the inspired works that are born from their anguish. Spanning artistic disciplines from painting to literature to music to drama, the book reveals the common thread that binds artistic expression of every conceivable type. Probing the life stories of creative luminaries from all backgrounds and eras, arts journalist Christopher Zara reveals their personal demons, delves into the various ways that pain and suffering inspired their art, and touches upon their continued influence on contemporary society. Little-known facts surrounding history’s most influential artistic achievements are found in this ample collection, including—

• The worldwide natural disaster that inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

• The personal betrayal that impelled a disillusioned young Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse.

• The bitter divorce that transformed Lenny Bruce from a lackluster workaday comic into a dynamic counterculture icon.

• The startling statistics that reveal why Taylor Swift lacks any hint of measurable talent.

Told in a lively yet informative fashion, Tortured Artists is a personal homage to the long-suffering creative geniuses who touch our lives at the expense of their own well being.

Released March 2012 from Adams Media.

Order your copy today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite Indie Bookstore.

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