Adele Griffin, a two-time National Book Award finalist and one of the best YA authors around, attempts something very different with her new book: In The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, she tells the story of 17-year-old street artist Addison Stone, who burst onto the NYC scene only to die of apparent suicide at the height of her meteoric rise to fame. The novel attempts to discover the truth of Stone’s mysterious death and the core of her work through first person interviews with her parents, friends, boyfriends, mentors, critics, and more—punctuated with 63 full color, original paintings and photographs.
According to Washington Post, “[This is an] intricate, intoxicating novel . . . This compelling story can be read on many levels, from a multi-voiced meditation on a brief, bright life in the Big Apple to an exploration of the biographer’s almost impossible task: the discovery and distillation of another’s complex self.”
To give life to what she calls a “docu-novel,” Adele hired model Giza Lagarce to become Addison (that’s her on the cover) and took hundreds of photos of Giza and an extended cast of characters, many of which are included in the book. Says Griffin: “I’d been working on a first draft of Addison, and I hadn’t even thought about featuring a visual Addison; the original idea was to showcase the art. Suddenly there was Addison Stone in my kitchen… That’s when I saw an entirely fresh component of the book, as an intimate biography.”
To stand in for Addison’s art, Griffin obtained the rights to pieces from no fewer than five different artists, all students and alumni from prestigious schools such as RISD and Pratt. Over the course of the book, this work displays the progression of Addison’s short life from a frenetic, loose-cannon child to a brilliant celebrated artist whose last creation shocked the world.
If you are interested to learn more about Adele’s new book, you can check out the Amazon page for the title by clicking on the image below.