''If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.'...
Arky Swann is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has made him promise to keep a terrible secret. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in her performance The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky as he considers marriage, art and the nature of commitment and love over a long-term union. The Museum of Modern Love is the story of one of the world's greatest art events and a man in search of connection.' (Publication summary)
'This Stella Prize-winning novel from Helen Rose is a masterpiece of introspection. Passages linger in the mind; her evocative prose demands that we stop and ask What would I do?' (Introduction)
'Heather Rose is shortlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize for her novel The Museum of Modern Love. In this special Stella interview, Heather discusses the murky line between fact and fiction, the power of art, and what it feels like when a character in your book gives you feedback.' (Introduction)
'In the wake of winning the Stella Prize for her latest novel The Museum of Modern Love, Heather Rose talked with Benjamin Law at a Hobart event about writing, reading, ghosts and Marina Abramovic.'
'E.B. White once said there were three New Yorks, comprised of those who were born there (‘solidity and continuity’), the daily commuter (‘tidal restlessness’), and the searcher on a quest, the latter giving the city its passion and dedication to the arts. In The Museum of Modern Love, this third type is drawn to Marina Abramovíc’s The Artist is Present, a simple yet profound performance stretching over seventy-five unrelenting days, in which Marina unflinchingly meets the gaze of a series of individuals in a gallery.'
'There are certain books that have the knack of getting under your skin. This is why George Bernard Shaw declared Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit to be a far more “seditious” text than Karl Marx’s Das Capital.
'What he was getting at is the power of books to work on your emotions. The intellect can be too cold an instrument to engender empathy, to bring people who are distant from you into your “circle of concern”. And it is precisely this, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues, that matters for the pursuit of social justice.
'In 2017, the Stella Prize judges have again come up with a shortlist of books that will engage your brain, but also your heart. They illuminate all the aspects of life that make us frail and vulnerable – sickness, dying, inequality – realities that many of us would prefer to ignore.' (Introduction)
The Museum of Modern Love also won the People's Choice Award in this category.