FEBRUARY 2016 ;e Costco Connection 75
By Hope Katz Gibbs
I NO LONGER love you as I once did, in
the dazzling rush of those early days.
Time itself was feverish then, our bodies
filled with fire … the metallic scent of the
dark room, smells of sweat and linseed oil,
a stain of cocoa on the dining room table.
It was all smashed together back then—
art, sex, life—mixed into the perfect color,
every shadow had a substance, shape,
and tone. My hands are cool now, the past
remade and packed away. Sometimes,
though, late at night the air lifts and I feel
it—the faint burn of your eyes on my
closed lids. Still. That sense of you rushing back in.
So begins Dawn Tripp’s novel Georgia, an imagined first-person account of the life of the legendary
American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and the passionately complicated relationship she had with the
recipient of the note above—her manager and husband, famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
This is the fourth book by Tripp, the author of
the best-seller Game of Secrets and the winner of the
Massachusetts Book Award for fiction for The
Season of Open Water.
The Harvard grad and Costco member says
Georgia was the toughest project she has tackled—
not only because Georgia O’Keeffe was so complex,
but because it took nearly a year for her to find the
voice of the character.
Tripp’s journey into Georgia began in the fall of
2009 as she basked in the 125 paintings in the exhibit
“Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction,” at the Whitney
Museum of American Art in New York City.
Signed book gıveaway
COSTCO HAS 50 signed copies of Dawn Tripp’s novel
Georgia to give away. To enter, go to costcoconnection
NO PURCHASE, PAYMENT OR OPT-IN OF ANY KIND IS
NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
Purchase will not improve odds of winning. Sweepstakes is
sponsored by Penguin Random House, 1745 Broadway, New
York, N Y 10019. Open to legal residents of the U.S. (except
Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the time of entry. One
entry per household. Entries must be received before the March
issue is available online, which will happen around February 26,
2016. Winners will be randomly selected and noti;ed by mail
on or before April 1, 2016. The value of the prize is $28. Void
where prohibited. Winners are responsible for all applicable
federal, state and local taxes. Odds of winning depend on the
number of eligible entries received. Employees of Costco or
Penguin Random House and their families are not eligible.
Pennie Clark Ianniciello,
Costco book buyer
I HAVE ALWAYS been
awestruck by Georgia
O’Keeffe’s paintings. The
bold, bright colors and
with the scale of ;owers
and other natural objects
are as beautiful as they
are intense. The same can
be said for this month’s
book pick, Georgia, by
In 1916, O’Keeffe
travels to New York City
for an exhibit of her work.
There she meets photographer and art dealer
Alfred Stieglitz. The two
soon fall into a tempestuous relationship. This
;ctionalized account of
O’Keeffe’s life looks at the
artist’s search for love and
artistic freedom, along
with the sacri;ces she had
to make. If you enjoyed
Loving Frank, by Nancy
Horan, you will love this
book. (Item #1037694, 2/9)
For more book picks,
see page 77.
“I felt overturned as I moved from
piece to piece, and began to draw
together an entirely new understanding of O’Keeffe and her art,” Tripp
explains from her seaside home in
Massachusetts, noting it was a century
ago, in 1915, when O’Keeffe, then 27,
began painting abstract art, in an era
when few artists, much less women,
were bold enough to do so.
“As I moved past the paintings, I
wanted to know who was the woman,
the artist, who made these works?
Why was she not recognized for her sheer visionary
power [earlier in] her lifetime? And, of course, what
was her 30-year relationship really like with Alfred
Stieglitz, the man who ‘discovered’ her?”
For more than a year, Tripp dove into the psyche
of the woman who is celebrated as a central figure in
20th-century art: “I read five or six biographies
about her, and filled notebooks with thoughts and
ideas because I still write longhand. I looked at
O’Keeffe’s art, Stieglitz’s photographs of her and the
work of other artists in their circle. Then I started
taking my own photographs every day because I
was trying to see the world the way a visual artist
might see the world.”
Still, the voice of O’Keeffe wasn’t speaking to
her—until one Sunday afternoon in April 2010.
“It was an oddly warm spring day in
Massachusetts, so I took my sons down to the river
to play,” she begins. “They had their jeans rolled up
and they were kicking around in the water and I was
lying in the sun, when I suddenly ‘heard’ the first
words for the novel: ‘I no longer love you as I once
did in the dazzling rush of those early days.’ I
remember that moment so clearly. I suddenly sat up,
feeling O’Keeffe’s voice inside of me. I looked
around, and the whole world was different. I started
the book the following day.”
A sensuous 316-page work of historical fiction
is the result.
“Fiction is a curious tool to get at a different side
of the truth,” Tripp says. “It’s what novelist Vladimir
Nabokov called ‘the shimmering go-between.’ That’s
the space that I wanted to write into, the space
between what took place in O’Keeffe’s life—and
what could have.” C
Hope Katz Gibbs, a freelance writer
based in Richmond, Virginia, has been
a fan of Georgia O’Keeffe’s since a boyfriend gave her a poster of Oriental
Poppies for her 16th birthday.
COSTCO PHOTO STUDIO
Georgia on my mind