The Artstars

9780253044365: Paperback
Release Date: 1st October 2019

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 192

Indiana University Press

The Artstars


Paperback / £13.99

Enticing, heart wrenching, and darkly funny, the interconnected stories in The Artstars are set in creative communities—an art school, an illegal loft studio, a guerrilla street performance troupe—where teamwork and professional jealousy mix, and the artists grapple with economic realities and evolving expectations. A middle-aged poet, reeling from 9-11, fights homesickness, writer's block, and ladybugs at an artist's colony. A new empty-nester finds a creative outlet in her community garden, but gets tangled up in garden politics. As the characters pass through each other's stories, making messes and helping mop them up, some find inspiration in accidents; others are ready to quit art completely. Together, they stumble through the creative process, struggling to make art and find the spark of something new and original within themselves. In a world where the odds of becoming a star are nearly impossible, The Artstars tells the stories of those who dare to dream.


Light Streaming from a Horse's Ass

Three Lessons in Firesurfing




Down the Slope


The Stone Floor

The Beginning of the End of the Beginning

Anne Elliott has been a sculptor, English teacher, performance poet, waitress, Wall Street analyst, ukulelist, costume stitcher, database programmer, and publisher of tiny books. She now lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband and many pets. For more information, visit


I love these interconnected portraits—elegant, funny, fond—of artists struggling to realize a vision in the face of indifference, misunderstanding, and being very, very broke. They are heroes, deliciously human ones. The Artstars crackles with irresistible energy and smarts.


Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours


The Artstars is a fierce and funny exploration of creation and its discontents. Anne Elliott's stories are, like the up-and-comer sculptors and poets and fabric artists who populate them, droll, ambitious, and hungry for meaning. They are about the struggle to make art, to outlast your doubts and debts, and to find love, which is to say they are about the human heart revealing itself. A gorgeous collection.


Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and God Bless America

"These stories are so visceral, you can almost smell the oil paint, see the light coming out of a horse's ass, as one of her characters observes. A real treat to read. And they're funny too!"

Sonia Pilcer, author of The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites