Notable: Lives of the artists

Published January 2 2015
Updated January 5 2015


Lives of the artists

Three new novels imagine real-life painters, musicians and writers through fiction.

Driving the King (Harper) by Ravi Howard recounts the relationship between singer Nat King Cole and his boyhood friend Nat Weary in a story that ranges from Jim Crow Montgomery, Ala., to glamorous Hollywood in the 1950s.

The Season of Migration (Farrar Straus & Giroux) by Nellie Hermann is a wrenching but lyrical imagining of the early life of the painter Vincent van Gogh, his complex relationship with his brother, Theo, and his birth as an artist.

Vanessa and Her Sister (Ballantine Books) by Priya Parmar puts the fictional focus on the talented Stephen siblings who formed the core of the famed Bloomsbury Group in early 20th century London, especially writer Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor