Live Nude Girl


My Life as an Object
Kathleen Rooney
978-1-55728-949-0 (paper)
978-1-61075-693-8 (audio)
July 2010


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Live Nude Girl is a lively meditation on the profession of nude modeling—that “spine-tingling combination of power and vulnerability, submission and dominance”—as it has been practiced in history and as it is practiced today. Kathleen Rooney draws on her own experiences working as an artist’s model, as well as on the stories of famous, notorious, and mysterious artists and models through the ages.

Kathleen Rooney is the author of Reading with Oprah: The Book Club that Changed America, now in its second edition, For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs, and the poetry collection, Oneiromance (An Epithalamion).

“A compelling memoir that blends observation, personal revelation and scholarly inquiry.”
Los Angeles Times

“This esoteric, organic meditation on life as an art object is itself a model of personal writing, perfect for those on either side of the easel.”
Publishers Weekly “Starred Review”

“A spirited and thought-provoking exploration of the human figure, Live Nude Girl beckons the oft-clothed to share the thrill of taking it off.”
Utne Reader

“[This is] a memoir of Rooney’s career as an art model that wrestles with the headier issues of the naked form as inspiration, objectification for the sake of art, and the role of a muse throughout history. . . . We’ll be watching as Ms. Rooney seems as compelling a talent in her future off the pedestal as on.”
Huffington Post

“Rooney is a poet as well as a model and, for her, time spent naked, being photographed or painted, is an opportunity for the stillness and repose that is the starting place for her own meditations on art and on womanhood.”
Times Literary Supplement

“If Live Nude Girl caught your eye, promised, beckoned—good. Follow the enticement and you’ll encounter the thrill of a rigorous and questioning mind in motion.”
—Lia Purpura, author of On Looking

“Kathleen Rooney boldly and bravely dissects what it means to disrobe in the name of art—and money.”
—Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of Best Sex Writing 2009

“The writing is enticing, engaging, inviting, and the anecdotes are irresistible.”
—Peter Stitt, editor of The Gettysburg Review

“Mixing art history, personal narrative, and philosophical discussions, the book moves at a deliberate but luxurious pace.”
—Aaron Kimmel, Colorado Review

Adopted at: Indiana University, South Bend
Course: ENGL W-311, Writing Creative Nonfiction
Course Description: Workshop in such modes as personal essay, autobiography, or documentary. Course focuses on understanding and practicing the rhetorical and stylistic choices available to writers of creative nonfiction: options for structure, pacing, language, style, tone, detail, description, authorial presence and voice, etc.
Professor: Kelcey Parker
Term: Spring 2015

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