Woman Pissing

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Woman Pissing

Elizabeth Cooperman

192 pages
9 illustrations, 1 appendix

Paperback

September 2022

978-1-4962-3144-4

$19.95 Pre-order

About the Book

When we think of prototypical artists, we think of, say, Picasso, who made work quickly, easily, effervescently. On the contrary, in Woman Pissing, a literary collage that takes its title from a raunchy Picasso painting, Elizabeth Cooperman celebrates artists—particularly twentieth-century women artists—who have struggled with debilitating self-doubt and uncertainty. At the same time, Cooperman grapples with her own questions of creativity, womanhood, and motherhood, considering her decade-long struggle to finish writing her own book and realizing that she has failed to perform one of the most fundamental creative acts—bearing a child.

Woman Pissing is composed of roughly one hundred short prose “paintings” that converge around questions of creativity and fecundity. As the book unfolds it builds a larger metaphor about creativity, and the concerns of artistry and motherhood begin to entwine. The author comes to terms with self-doubt, inefficiency, frustration, and a nonlinear, circuitous process and proposes that these methods might be antidotes to the aggressive bravura and Picassian overconfidence of ego-driven art.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Cooperman is coeditor (with David Shields) of the anthology Life Is Short—Art Is Shorter and coauthor (with Thomas Walton) of The Last Mosaic. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Chronicle, Seattle Review, 1913: A Journal of Forms, and other journals. She is the art director of PageBoy Magazine.

Praise

“This is a fiercely feminist book in the best sense, carving out a space for a female intelligence and decimating certain kinds of male productivity/surety. Cooperman has found her own form and managed to create a remarkable book—howlingly sad, oddly joyous, and persuasively devoted to a wayward/outsider/termite definition of art.”—David Shields

“An engaging and distinctive read, Woman Pissing challenges, provokes, and inspires. . . . Woman Pissing refuses to give way to conventional narrative, charts its own path, and evidences the instinctual effort and devotion of a writer keenly aware of just how thin the membrane between art and life can truly be.”—Jericho Parms, author of Lost Wax

“A book about the effort to write it, Woman Pissing is a living thing. Cooperman makes art of the effort to make art and manages, in that process, to make art—of art itself. The product is not final but a record of the process—pure pleasure for the reader.”—Kary Wayson, author of The Slip

Table of Contents

Woman with Hat
Head of a Man
Head of a Woman
Woman in the Studio
Woman with Green Stockings
Crouching Beggar
Family of Saltimbanques
Young Acrobat on a Ball
At the Lapin Agile
Parade
Reclining Female Nude under a Pine Tree
The Lovers
The Absinthe Drinker
Woman in Gray
Woman in a Gray Armchair
Head of a Hurdy-Gurdy
The Blue Acrobat
The Race
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother
Pregnant Woman
Self-Portrait at Thirty-Six
Dwarf Dancer
Maya with Doll
Portrait of Maya
The Factory
Maternité
Spring
Nude in Red Stockings
The Beast
La belle hollandaise
Le compotier

Nude in a Garden
Butterfly Hunter
Woman with Her Hair in a Bun
Japanese Divan
House in a Garden
Interior Scene
The Blue Room
Woman with Outstretched Arms
Tête de mort
Still Life with Steer’s Skull
She-Goat
Sweets
La cuisine
Nude with Drapery
Kids
Little Sun
Tête
Woman with Jewels
Watermelon Eaters
Ma jolie
Girl before a Mirror
Self-Portrait
Yo
Woman with a Large Hat
The Artist before His Canvas
Aiming the Deathblow
Woman with Pears
Woman Washing Her Feet
The Fool
Woman beneath the Lamp
Smoke Clouds at Vallauris
The Pigeon with Green Peas
Contemplation
Cabinet particulier
Bird with Worm
Cannibale
The Sigh
Woman with a Crow
Two Old People
Birds in a Cage
Woman Squatting with Child
The Old Blind Man’s Meal
Seated Old Man
Woman in a Hat with Pom-Poms and a Printed Blouse
Woman with a Bonnet
Nude with Dripping Hair
Woman Pissing
Blue Nude
Still Life with Skull
Death of Nature
Last Moments
Lobster and Cat
Woman Seated in a Garden
Woman in a Shawl
La joie de vivre (Pastorale)
Still Life with Fruit
Waiting
Woman Reading
Woman Throwing a Stone
Woman at the Window
Acknowledgments
Appendix: Discarded Epigraphs
Voices

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