David Hockney: A Life

David Hockney: A Life


“Reading David Hockney: A Life somehow mimics the experience of

looking at a painting by the artist…vivid…compelling.” The Economist


“Vivid scenes…combine with loving descriptions of Hockney’s canvases

to create an engaging chronicle.” The New Yorker


“As sunny as the poolside California that was the artist’s longtime

muse…an affirming vision of a restless talent propelled by optimism

and chance…Cusset captures the psyche of a painter.” New York Times

Book Review


"Catherine Cusset's book caught a lot of me. I could recognise myself." -David Hockney


With clear, vivid prose, this meticulously researched novel draws an intimate, moving portrait of the most famous living English painter. Born in Bradford in 1937, David Hockney had to fight to become an artist.

After leaving home for the Royal College of Art in London his career flourished, but he continued to struggle with a sense of not belonging, because of his homosexuality, which had yet to be decriminalised, and because of his inclination for a figurative style of art, which was not sufficiently "contemporary" to be valued. Trips to New York and California-where he would live for many years and paint his iconic swimming pools-introduced him to new scenes and new loves, beginning a journey that would take him through the fraught years of the AIDS epidemic. A compelling hybrid of novel and biography, David Hockney: A Life offers an insightful overview of a painter whose art is as accessible as it is compelling, and whose passion to create has never been deterred by heartbreak or illness or loss.