Monday, March 26, 2012

Amber Dermont

Amber Dermont is the author of the novel, The Starboard Sea, and the short story collection, Damage Control. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Dermont received her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

From her dialogue with Ali Fisher:

Ali: I would guess that every debut author takes inspiration from other artists, be they authors, musicians, painters, or, say, typographers. Does anyone stick out as a particularly important part of your process?

Amber: Great question! Writers are like magpies thieving for shiny objects, eager for any charm that will help build a better nest. As I began writing THE STARBOARD SEA, I sought inspiration from the painter John Currin and the photographers Tina Barney and Anthony Goicolea. All three of these artists helped me envision the physical and emotional landscapes of the novel: the listless suntanned faces, the splendor of Manhattan penthouses, the caprice of adolescence and the brutal beauty of youth. John Currin often paints society women in sexy, outlandish poses. His portrait of his wife, "Rachel in Fur," served as the muse for my character Brizzey and the redheaded starlet in his masterpiece, "Heartless," helped me bring Diana and Aidan to life. Currin's intimate depiction of two nude sailors, "Fishermen," became a touchstone for Jason's tender and fraught relationship with Cal.

Rachel in Fur CurrinLike Currin, Tina Barney is famous for her arresting images of East Coast aristocracy. "Social Studies," a documentary about Barney's artistic process, reveals the photographer's inscrutable reverence for her wealthy subjects and her commitment to showcasing Upper East Siders in moments of disarming vulnerability. While the characters in Barney's photographs are often stiff and reserved, Anthony Goicolea toys with images of ...[read on]
Read more about The Starboard Sea, and visit Amber Dermont's Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Starboard Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue