A vibrantly illustrated chain of entanglements (romantic and otherwise) between some of our best-loved writers and artists of the 20th century - fascinating, scandalous, and surprising.
Poet Robert Lowell died of a heart attack, clutching a portrait of his lover, Caroline Blackwood, painted by her ex-husband, Lucian Freud. Lowell was on his way to see his own ex-wife, Elizabeth Hardwick, who was a longtime friend of Mary McCarthy. McCarthy left the father of her child to marry Edmund Wilson, who had encouraged her writing, and had also brought critical attention to the fiction of Anaïs Nin... whom he later bedded. And Nin! She, twice married, had an affair with Henry Miller and an emotional affair with Gore Vidal (and also slept with her psychoanalyst, her father, and her brother). And so it goes, the long chain of love, affections, and artistic influences among writers, musicians, and artists that weaves its way through the The Art of the Affair - from Frida Kahlo to Colette to Hemingway to Dalí; from Coco Chanel to Stravinsky to Miles Davis to Orson Welles.