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AMELIA GRAY is the author of five books: IsadoraGutshot, THREATS, Museum of the Weird, and AM/PM. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.



"Art is not even an appetizer to the horrors of the world."


"The world consumes horror and is never sated."

A new novel from amelia gray

Duncan's life was obviously a tragic one, and what might have been her most difficult year — the period between the deaths of her first two children in a car accident and the birth of her third — form the basis of Amelia Gray's breathtaking new novel, Isadora. It's a stunning meditation on art and grief by one of America's most exciting young writers.

Gray is a gutsy, utterly original writer, and this is the finest work she's done so far. Isadora is a masterful portrait of one of America's greatest artists, and it's also a beautiful reflection on what it means to be suffocated by grief, but not quite willing to give up: "In order to understand the greatest joys of life, you must do more than open yourself to its greatest sorrows. You must invite it to join you in your home and beguile it to stay." --Michael Schaub, NPR


Historical novels about artists abound, but few attain the psychological intricacy, fluency of imagination, lacerating wit, or intoxicating beauty of Gray’s tale of Isadora Duncan, the courageous mother of modern dance. [...] Gray’s deeply inquisitive and empathic story of epic grief is composed of short, intense chapters expressing the divergent points of view of four contentious characters: extravagantly theatrical Isadora; her exceedingly wealthy and pragmatic lover, Paris Singer; her frustrated sister, Elizabeth, who teaches the radical Duncan method; and her fellow instructor, the ineptly scheming Max.

As Isadora plunges into near madness, then slowly reclaims her artistic powers, Gray, performing her own extraordinary artistic leap, explores the nexus between body and mind, loss and creativity, love and ambition, and birth and death. The spellbinding result is a mythic, fiercely insightful, mordantly funny, and profoundly revelatory portrait of an intrepid and indelible artist. — Donna Seaman, Booklist

a searing novel of grief and artistic ambition

A great novel of character: the story of a real woman’s real grief and survival ... Gray’s characters devour the world through their senses, a voracious, bodily quality that's a gift in writing the story of a woman for whom meaning began in the body — who hoped to awaken the world through her own body, no less ... In this era of history commandeered by toxic masculinity with delusions of superhumanity, there’s a lot to be said for remembering the truth of the body, particularly the female and otherwise marginalized bodies that are so likely to be written out of the story...Isadora is a heavenly celebration of women in charge of their bodies. -- Ellie Robins, The Los Angeles Times