Suzanne Ruta
March 28, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

When the Sons of Heaven Meet the Daughters of the Earth

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Fernanda Eberstadt
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A

Eberstadt’s 1992 novel, Isaac and His Devils, was a vital, original portrait of the artist as a young man, set in rural New Hampshire. When the Sons of Heaven Meet the Daughters of the Earth finds lovable, disheveled wunderkind Isaac Hooker in the overheated New York art world of the ’80s, rising from squalor to celebrity within a year. It takes a kind of genius to write about a genius, and Eberstadt’s is for hyperalert metaphors that deliver information in the way it comes at you on city sidewalks — in brief, illuminating bursts; the view from Isaac’s bath is ”a square of blinding blue or charcoal grey, like the flag of a free republic.” This satire has both bite and heart.

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