Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999) by Tracy Chevalier


Critical Assessment "Chevalier's novel . . . is a wondrous, enthralling piece of work, told through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl who goes to work as a maid in Vermeer's household after her father is blinded in a kiln explosion. "Like Vermeer's paintings, 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' is deceptively simple, its events recounted in a matter-of-fact language that belies the novel's immense ambition and sophistication. Its narration, after all, enacts a hoch feminist maneuver: relating a monumental event (in this case, the genesis of one of Vermeer's most unsettling masterpieces) from the perspective of a 'marginal' participant (a woman, [...]