Four Figures in Time
Full of astute observations on modern lives, Four Figures in Time explores the struggle for art, ideas, and identity in a New York City art school. Sonja is an aging sculptor forced to take a teaching job to make ends meet; Claire, a sophomore in love with both French Impressionism and another woman; Danny, a working-class student fascinated by Mexican religious paintings and obsessed with Claire; and Otis, a middle-aged administrator and champion of disadvantaged students. Four Figures in Time reveals these very different individuals whose lives coincidentally – and irretrievably – intersect.
"In this rich and multifaceted characterization, Grossman traces the development of ‘Four Figures’ whose lives irrevocably intersect at a Manhattan art school. . . . Art is truly life in this insightful novel. Highly recommended for collections of serious fiction."
"Grossman skillfully weaves her four characters' adventures and misadventures into an engrossing tapestry of contemporary lives."
“Steeped in intelligence and sophistication, engaging the intellect as much as the emotions … a novel for the mature reader who looks to literature not for comfort or mere entertainment but for stimulation and recognition of life as we know it.”
"The writing here is seamless, concealing the craft behind it. Everything we don't care about has been left out, the array of lesser characters portrayed cleanly with a few brush strokes and concise dialogue."
—The Bloomsbury Review
"Patricia Grossman brings to the novel the sensibility of a classicist, the sophistication of a modernist, and the intelligence and heart of a maverick."
—Sandra Scofield, National Book Award Nominee for Beyond Deserving