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Tracy Chevalier’s 1999 novel Girl with Pearl Earring represents the author’s speculation regarding the identity of the model for Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s, whose own life remains clouded in mystery, famous painting. Little is known about Vermeer, and his body of work is limited relative to that of other well-known and highly-regarded artists. Chevalier’s novel, though, offers one fictional scenario intended to fill in some of those blanks.
When contemplating articles on Girl with Pearl Earring, a logical and good starting point is the eNotes summary the link to which is provided below. A link to Tracy Chevalier’s own website is also provided below, which includes links to reviews of her book from a number of publications, including the New York Times, Britain’s Guardian, and Publisher’s Weekly, in addition to her own discussion of the inspiration for her novel. The links below include the New York Times’ review, the Times being generally referred to as “the paper of record” in the United States. In addition to these links, a September 2008 interview with Chevalier in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper provides useful background on Girl with Pearl Earring and the author’s interest in the subject of the unidentified girl in Vermeer’s most famous painting [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/3561128/Tracy-Chevalier-on-letting-go-of-Girl-with-a-Pearl-Earring.html]
Another useful website is Ted's at http://www.ted.com/talks/tracy_chevalier_finding_the_story_inside_the_painting. Finally, the following link to YouTube is a 50 minute video interview with Chevalier in which the author discusses her body of work, with emphasis on Girl with Pearl Earring: . As can be seen, there is considerable first-person material available on this particular book. The eNotes document combined with the video interview should suffice for a good introduction to the novel.
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