Brad Leithauser --> reviewed by Ian Marcus Corbin -->

In Brad Leithauser’s sprawling new novel, The Art Student’s War, Bianca Paradiso is enamored with light and color, as well as the vividly colored people that inhabit Henry Ford’s Detroit. Beautiful and sensitive, she is surrounded, and often beset, by family members, friends, and lovers. Bianca spends much of the novel struggling to interpret the impact of wooings and denunciations, deaths and births. Leithauser’s elegant prose traces her gradual transformation from a hungry and searching art student to a mature and discerning wife and mother.

When Part One of the novel, “The War Comes Home,” begins, Detroit’s auto factories are functioning as full-tilt armories. The Second World War is everywhere...


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