Praise for Grant Wood: A Life

"Sumptuous, eminently readable... a book so rich and swiftly satisfying that it and Wood's images will come to haunt you." -- Sam Coale, The Providence Journal

"Absorbing and thoughtful... Evans dismisses the artist's folksy declarations and devotion to Regionalism as a mere cover, an expedient camouflage, for his tortured private life." -- Deborah Solomon, The New York Times Book Review

"This audacious, ingenious, and powerful book blows the lid off the study of Grant Wood... Certainly one of the best and most psychologically penetrating studies ever written on an American artist." -- Henry Adams, author of Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock 

"Evans's meticulous, wryly witty and dramatic outing of Wood comes at a time of open, clarifying, and necessary debate of gay rights... Let Grant Wood's life story not only recalibrate and enhance our understanding of his work. Let it also stand as a fresh and in-depth testimony to the crushing consequences of discrimination." -- Donna Seaman, The Kansas City Star

"Any look beyond American Gothic, or even a close look at that familiar image will dispel the notion of Wood as a harmless, mainstream champion of patriotic Americana. So will any familiarity with the facts of his life... [A] provocative book." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

”In his meticulously researched biography of Grant Wood, Evans skillfully disentangles the myth from the man…  Evans’s keen eye and new readings of Wood’s works will challenge, surprise, and provoke students and scholars.  Highly recommended.” – CHOICE (American Library Association)

“Beautifully written and scrupulously researched... Evans’s biography places Wood anew among his contemporaries.” -- Wendy Moffat, author of A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster

"Evans offers an engrossing look at Wood's life and a deconstruction of his paintings which reveals that the farmer-painter's angst, longing, and sensuality are right there on his canvases."  -- Christopher Schoppa, The Washington Post

“A rich and compelling portrait of Wood that sheds new light not only on the artist’s work, but on the intimate details of life in the American heartland.”  -- Jonathan Lopez, The Boston Globe

 "Evans' book is much more than a biography, it is also a lesson in looking and seeing... a valuable contribution to this country's cultural history, and one that shows the insidious homophobia that has often shaped that history. This is a splendid, beautifully written book." -- Doug Ireland, Gay City News (New York)

"A fascinating and heartrending portrait of an artist forced to sacrifice his right to happiness and wholeness." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Evans provides Wood and his work with layers upon layers of depth, a portrait of a fully realized, three-dimensional man whose work and life is terribly fascinating and distinctly American." -- Dustin Michael Harris, The Chicago Sun-Times

"Wood's supporters colluded to protect his reputation as 'America's painter' and all that it implied... Evans's book goes a long way towards a more complex, and more unsettling, account." -- Marc Vincent, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Evans effectively demolishes the mythological portrait of Wood that has been passed along for decades... One eventually concludes from his absorbing narrative that Wood was a tragic figure."  -- Edward Sozanski, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Evans's in-depth, gendered readings of Wood's paintings situate him in a longer history of male artists' gendered self-portrayals... providing a useful new insight into Wood's place in American art." -- Publishers Weekly

"A dramatic reinterpretation of the artist's life and work... Evans has done a great service simply by turning over the topsoil when it comes to Grant Wood." -- Art Winslow, The Chicago Tribune

"Evans... gives us in this exceptional biography the entire Grant Wood."  -- John Davis, The Decatur Daily

"In this important and much needed book, Evans strips away the surface layers and reveals the naked truth that underlies all of Wood's images... Evans' unflinchingly sober look at Grant Wood's life and art is a heartbreaking and truthful rendition that has profound implications for revisionist art history and is a significant contribution to GLBT studies." -- Cassandra Langer, The Gay and Lesbian Review  

"Evans unravels the strings of myth and invention that wrapped around Wood... In the end, he has given us a portrait of an artist that, like his famous painting, has been reinvented and misunderstood for decades." -- James Polchin, Lambda Literary

"Extensive, detailed, and packed with artistic and personal revelations."  -- Midwest Book Review (five-star review)  

"Evans has rendered the artist and the art in all their ambivalence, disquiet, mischief, deceptiveness, and anguish. This is a deeply respectful and compassionate biography." -- Steven Biel, author of American Gothic: A Life of America's Most Famous Painting 

"Evans is able to tease out a wealth of convincing fresh interpretations for even Wood's best-known works.  The apparent affection that Evans has for his subject shines through in his prose, which makes this richly illustrated work a pleasure to read." -- K. Mason, City University of New York, for Choice (highly recommended)  


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