The Vil­lage Idiot

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Award-win­ning author Steve Stern has writ­ten a wild, effer­ves­cent, absinthe soaked nov­el about the life of the remark­able expres­sion­ist painter Chaim Sou­tine (Jan­u­ary 3rd, 1893 – August 9th,1943). From his impov­er­ished begin­nings in an East Euro­pean shtetl, to his emi­gra­tion to Paris, to his Cin­derel­la patron­age by the Amer­i­can col­lec­tor Albert Barnes, and his per­ilous flight from the Nazi occu­pa­tion of France, The Vil­lage Idiot explores Soutine’s adven­tures and romances. This includes his unlike­ly friend­ship with the flam­boy­ant painter Modigliani, who drags him from broth­els to mid­night felonies to a duel at dawn, while on the hori­zon the com­ing storm threat­ens to sweep away Chaim and a gen­er­a­tion of gift­ed Jew­ish refugees.

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