Cynthia Newberry Martin "The Art of Her Life" & artist, Marilyn Massad Event @The Commons 6/6/23

Tickets now Available!


East End Books is thrilled to welcome back Cynthia Newberry Martin upon the publication of her new book: "The Art of Her Life." This special event will be in conjunction with Artist Marilyn Massad. The event will be held at The Commons (46 Bradford Street). 

Cynthia Newberry Martin "The Art of Her Life" & artist, Marilyn Massad Event @The Commons 6/6/23. Tickets available here: Cynthia Newberry Martin "The Art of Her Life" & artist, Marilyn Massad Tickets, Tue, Jun 6, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite 

Cynthia Newberry Martin

The Art of Her Life is a story about the power of art. At nine years old, on her first visit to a museum, Emily fell in love with Breakfast, a painting by Henri Matisse. Now a single mother, she lives in the world of art and can barely find time for her two daughters, much less for Mark, the man she loves. Her days are a jumble—she’s lost the thread of her life—but a contest at the museum where she’s the registrar gives her hope—the chance to see Breakfast again. Matisse’s words and paintings permeate her days and nights, and glancing at a note card of the painting she loves, she sees something she’s never seen before. The Art of Her Life shows the power of art to transform an ordinary life.


Cynthia Newberry Martin’s new novel is a bold transcendent meditation on desire, memory, motherhood, and the power of art to remake a life. I loved this book. I could not put it down. There’s a spare lyric grace to Martin’s writing, and in this story, she captures the nuances of ordinary life – what we love and fear to risk, what we lose and ache to hold. The Art of Her Life is a rare, exquisite work of fiction. Dawn Tripp, author of Georgia, a novel of Georgia O’Keeffe   

Cynthia Newberry Martin is a deeply gifted writer. The Art of Her Life should be placed on the same shelf as A.S. Byatt's The Matisse Stories. When tragic things happen to the character of Emily, she becomes devoted to a kind of Gospel of Henri Matisse, and she gets lost in the artist's life in order to find her own life again. This is a family story; this is a love story. But the novel combines these in profound and original ways. The splendid prose is tinted with the inimitable melancholy of Matisse's blue. Howard Norman, author of The Ghost Clause

In The Art of Her Life Cynthia Newberry Martin tenderly and delicately shows how the unexpected turns of a life can most often only be steadied and moored by what we hold deepest inside. It is told with no punches pulled. No self-interrogation spared. Just a keen and blunt honesty. A lovely and moving novel that celebrates the legacy of the creative spirit, the power and salvation of art, and the challenges in balancing an intellectual life with an emotional life. Adam Braver, author of Rejoice the Head of Paul McCartney 

With grace and clarity, Cynthia Newberry Martin paints in this novel a lasting portrait of love and family, of love and perseverance, of love and beauty and care and heart. Even in the face of loss, every brushstroke of life becomes somehow sacred, a blessing, an abundance.  William Lychack, author of Cargill Falls

The Art of Her Life is a rare book about an adult woman with the full complement of responsibilitieschildren, job, love, passions—grappling with how to manage and juggle them. Matisse's art, and the painting Breakfast in particular, is a character in this gorgeous book—his use of color and channeling of emotion form lifelines for our protagonist. Matisse accompanies Emily on her journey as she learns that, paradoxically, it is only through surrender that we can feel life's wholeness. I loved this book.—Lindsey Mead, editor of On Being Forty(ish)

Cynthia Newberry Martin's first novel, Tidal Flats, won the Gold Medal in Literary Fiction at the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards and the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Award for Fiction. Her website features the How We Spend Our Days series, over a decade of essays by writers on their lives. She grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Columbus, Georgia, with her husband, and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a little house by the water. Her second novel, Love Like This, was published in April of 2023.    

Tidal Flats, was published in September 2019.

Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Hunger MountainBrevityGargoyleContrary MagazineClapboard HouseStoryglossiaNuméro Cinq and other places. For a number of years, she served as the Review Editor for Contrary Magazine and the Writing Life Editor for Hunger Mountain. In 2012 she graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in Creative Writing. Later that year, she was awarded a residency at Ragdale. In 2013, she became a founding board member of the literary nonprofit Writing by Writers.

In 2009, she began the How We Spend Our Days series on her blog. There are now over a decade of essays from over a hundred writers on how each one spent one of their days. Currently, she spends her days in Columbus, GA, with her husband, and in Provincetown, MA, in a little house by the water.

For more about Cynthia and her writing, please check out her website at

Artist Marilyn Massad  




A lifelong painter with roots in Worcester and Provincetown, MA, Marilyn Massad studied at the Worcester Art Museum, the Provincetown Art Association Museum, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Castle Hill. With Provincetown as her touchstone, her travels and inspiration have taken her to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, and road tripping around the United States.


World travels inspire this artist’s colors and shapes, which bloom as imagined externalized landscapes of emotional victories, lovers, hopes, and dreams. Vibrant to muted, the hues span the array of the visible spectrum of light and emotion, and the playful use of scale offers the occasional riddle—is that a shadow or a pathway or a garden gate? Marilyn’s art is a gentle, moving reminder that the most important and eternal garden one can cultivate is within.

In her words, “Worcester gave me grit, Provincetown, style. My happiness, my satisfaction and my fulfillment are up to me. It’s a blessing to be able to paint and to shift my vision into something to aspire to.”         

From finger painting to macramé to textile art, watercolor, pastels, oils, and acrylic, her artwork mirrors as many roads, twists, and turns as she has taken.


She is currently working with acrylic and oil on canvas.


Art —



Event date: 
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
46 Bradford Street
Provincetown, MA 02657
The Art of Her Life By Cynthia Newberry Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953236975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fomite - June 6th, 2023

Love Like This By Cynthia Newberry Martin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780645436570
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vine Leaves Press - April 4th, 2023

Event Image: