«Maso's incantatory description of her conjured-up subject's embrace takes on extraordinary power … Like Frida Kahlo's painting—impossible to look away from.» —Kai Maristed, Los Angeles Times
A vibrant series of prose poems from beloved author Carole Maso is now available in paperback for the first time. Originally published in 2002, Beauty Is Convulsive is a passionate meditation on one of the twentieth century’s most compelling artists, Frida Kahlo (1907–1954).
At the age of nineteen, Kahlo’s life was transformed when the bus in which she was riding was hit by a trolley car. Pierced through by a steel handrail and broken in many places, she entered a long period of convalescence during which she began to paint self-portraits. At twenty-one, she joined the Communist party and soon entered into a tumultuous marriage with the famous muralist Diego Rivera.
Maso wrote after reading Kahlo’s diary, «I was struck not only by her last images, but by the power of her language: hallucinatory, dream-ridden, desperate, tender, written at her most vulnerable and open and perhaps most furious. I wanted in some way to be close to it—that trembling, defiant, beautiful, vibrant, wholly living page.» The resulting book is typical Maso—vigorous, always daring, thoroughly original. She brings together pieces from Kahlo’s biography, her letters, medical documents, and her diaries to assemble a text that is as erotic, mysterious, and colorful as one of Kahlo’s paintings.