Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew

by Susan Fletcher

The man in the title is Van Gogh, but the story belongs to the narrator, wife to the Saint-Paul asylum warden. Jeanne's meeting with Vincent when he's a patient there stirs up longing for a different life. Look for her portrait on line – you will see an ordinary woman, a life limited by circumstance. I'm sure she's no different to many then or now and her feelings may be familiar to you. A beautiful novel with real soul.


Jeanne shifts. 'What about Les Antiques? They're not far. I could show them to you. They're Roman remains - a tower that was a mausoleum, and an archway too. Weathered of course, and they used to be whiter than they were now but they're still very beautiful. You could paint them.'
'I don't want to paint them.'
'Why not?'
'I told you: I don't paint dukes or duchesses. I've no interest in painting what others have seen and admired. I'll paint what others don't look at. A street. The backs of things.'
'Like the moth.' She tries to smile at him.
'You know Les Alyscamps? I painted them, And when I painted them, I painted what I saw, which was the graves and the trees, the railway works beside them. Gaugin didn't paint the railway works. He painted a fiction, a falseness.' Spits.


Leaving Van Gough by Carol Wallace
  • Starry Starry Night - song by Don McLean

    Read Extract

    Books with similar rating


    1. Select UK region:

    Not in the UK?

    Scotland Norther Ireland North East of England North West of England Yorkshire and the Humber Wales West Midlands East Midlands East of England London South West of England South East of England

    Sign in


    Whichbook Sign Up

    Enter your email address to get started:

    First name:
    Last name:
    Confirm password:


    Email alerts are only available for registered users.