Leaving Van Gogh is an historical novel about the relationship between Vincent Van Gogh and Dr. Paul Gachet. Van Gogh arrived in Auvers, France in May of 1890, hoping that country life would improve his mental health. Weekend resident Dr. Gachet, who was a Parisian medical man with a history of treating mental illness, was keenly interested in the art of his day. He should have been just the man to help Vincent, but Van Gogh’s initial judgment was skeptical. His attitude softened and the men became friends. Vincent even painted Dr. Gachet, producing a portrait that is famous today. But Van Gogh ended up a suicide, so perhaps his initial assessment of Gachet was correct. Narrated by Dr. Gachet, Leaving Van is a novel about friendship, genius, madness, and the art that bound these two men together.
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“A haunting novel of bold strokes and fine-grained gestures, one that resonates long after its last, luminous page. In Carol Wallace’s masterful hands Van Gogh’s pictures spring to life every bit as brilliantly as does the painter himself.” —Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Salem 1692
“Carol Wallace’s Leaving Van Gogh is an act of wondrous ventriloquism not to be missed: … a tale of love, of madness, of art– and of genius and grief– told with the tender courage of a good friend.” — Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877
“How did Carol Wallace do this? Her novel so thrillingly and compassionately illuminates the tragic life of Vincent Van Gogh that he is now lodged in my heart like a beloved lost relative.” –Elinor Lipman, author of The View from Penthouse B