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Bernadette Murphy

Van Gogh’s Ear

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

One night in 1888 in the Provencale town of Arles, artist Vincent Van Gogh reportedly cut off part of his ear and presented it to a woman. People who’ve never seen a Van Gogh painting nevertheless know this story. Author Murphy got curious and decided to open the “cold case” in an effort to learn what really happened and why. This book is part art history, part scholarly procedural and part detective novel. To arrive at her verdict, Murphy has to analyze letters, artworks, maps and police blotters, filtering data through culture and psychology. More than a few “truths” are challenged.

– Bruce Collier
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