Publisher: Indiana University Press
These stories about struggling artists are “a fierce and funny exploration of creation and its discontents” (Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal). Set in various creative communities—an art school, an illegal loft studio, a guerrilla street performance troupe—where teamwork and professional jealousy mix, these interconnected short stories by prizewinning author Anne Elliot follow artists as they grapple with economic realities and evolving expectations. A middle-aged poet, reeling from 9/11, fights homesickness, writer’s block, and ladybugs at an artist’s colony. A new empty-nester finds a creative outlet in her community garden, but gets tangled up in garden politics. As the characters pass through each other’s stories, making messes and helping mop them up, some find inspiration in accidents and others are ready to quit art completely. Together, they stumble through the creative process, struggling to make art and find the spark of something new and original within themselves. In a world where the odds of becoming a star are nearly impossible, The Artstars tells the darkly humorous yet moving stories of those who dare to dream.