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Publisher's Summary

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 

A 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence finalist 

A 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist  

A 2020 Chautauqua Prize finalist  

“A daringly inventive parable of female creativity and motherhood” (O, The Oprah Magazine) from Myla Goldberg, the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of Bee Season, a compelling and wholly original story about a female photographer grappling with ambition and motherhood, a balancing act familiar to women of every generation.

Feast Your Eyes, framed as the catalog notes from a photography show at the Museum of Modern Art, tells the life story of Lillian Preston: “America’s Worst Mother, America’s Bravest Mother, America’s Worst Photographer, or America’s Greatest Photographer, depending on who was talking.” After discovering photography as a teenager through her high school’s photo club, Lillian rejects her parents’ expectations of college and marriage and moves to New York City in 1955. When a small gallery exhibits partially nude photographs of Lillian and her daughter, Samantha, Lillian is arrested, thrust into the national spotlight, and targeted with an obscenity charge. Mother and daughter’s sudden notoriety changes the course of both of their lives and especially Lillian’s career as she continues a lifelong quest for artistic legitimacy and recognition.

“A searching consideration of the way that the identities and perceptions of a female artist shift over time” (The New Yorker), Feast Your Eyes shares Samantha’s memories, interviews with Lillian’s friends and lovers, and excerpts from Lillian’s journals and letters - a collage of stories and impressions, together amounting to an astounding portrait of a mother and an artist dedicated, above all, to a vision of beauty, truth, and authenticity.  

Myla Goldberg has gifted us with “a mother-daughter story, an art-monster story, and an exciting structural gambit” (Lit Hub) - and, in the end, “a universal and profound story of love and loss” (New York Newsday). 

©2019 Myla Goldberg (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Feast Your Eyes

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Addictive Book.

I loved Feast Your Eyes. And I didn't want to stop reading the book. Great story.

2 people found this helpful

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A very compelling story.

Confusing at first. Stuck with it and the characters were very relatable and interesting. Always love it when the author is the reader.

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...your ears, and all your other senses.

I was already a Myla Goldberg fan, but she has outdone herself with. A photography book without the photos; what chutzpah! The reader and listener is in for a real treat. Using the posthumous exhibit as scaffolding was pure genius. It collected these lives as though they had been carefully wrapped the Japanese shopkeepers enclose their wares after a sale.

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Compassionate Compelling, beautifully written.

Myla Goldberg's writing and storytelling is so engrossing. She takes us on a journey through the life of Lillian Preston, a fictional photographer through a series of vignettes from the people who knew her, primarily her daughter Samantha. The stories told are intimate, introspective and compassionate. The story starts in the 1950s. Lillian's independent thinking (and later, Sam's) are not defined by the decade they live in, but how the opportunities and attitudes of the times shape what they can and can't do.

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Amazing!

Loved Bee Season, was afraid this would not measure up. I was wrong. Beautifully written, beautiful story.