Hopper's Office at Night inspires serialized novella

Earlier this month, the Walker Art Center opened "Hopper Drawing: A painter's process," a collection of sketches, drawings, notes, and finished paintings by iconic American painter Edward Hopper. This April, the exhibition will be inspiring a different type of work in progress. Authors Laird Hunt and Kate Bernheimer are taking up an unusual residency, collaboratively penning a novella based on the famous Hopper work Office at Night.

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[jump] The image, shown above, features a man working at a desk as a women files. Other details include a typewriter with bills nearby, an open window and door, and a light outside from perhaps a streetlamp or passing car that suggests a late night in the office. Critics have noted that Hopper's paintings are open to interpretation. Authors Hunt and Bernheimer are ready to give their take on the story presented here.

The novella will be released in serialized format on the Walker's website. Chapters will be released in installments throughout the month of April, and the full novella will be published by Coffee House Press as an e-book in June.

The first section, released today, introduces readers to Abraham Chelikowsky, a down-on-his-luck sometimes-painter who hopes to make it to 50, and Marge Quinn, a secretary whose motives have yet to be revealed.

To read the first installment, and to follow the story, visit