A Muse’s Memoir about Keeping the Artist Alive

After one heck of a first date with an ill artist, Susan was all in for a wild race against the clock.

She knew what she was getting into…sort of. Charlie was frailer than she realized and only twenty-seven. But it was clear from day one that he was in search of his own brand of perfection. She’d watch his work magically evolve while his body slipped away. She’d summon unfettered wiliness, hope, and forgiveness, while still managing to find raw, wicked humor in almost every dark corner. Decades later, over a million images were shot in the field, thousands were carefully cataloged, and hundreds were printed by the artist before he died. Art won. Love won. Illness lost.

The Swing, by Susan Dennis opens in the dangerous days of Detroit’s 1980s gang wars, and spans the twenty-four-year marriage of a muse and a photographer – a man with an inexplicable illness, and an equally inexplicable lifelong passion for mastering the union of nature with a lens.

From Kirkus Reviews:

“Indeed, the book as a whole serves as an important call to readers to recognize the humanity of the chronically ill.”

from The Book Commentary:

“…The narrative voice is irresistible and the author has this uncanny gift of pulling the reader in the first-person-narrative voice. The Swing: A Muse’s Memoir About Keeping the Artist Alive is a memoir of love, resilience, and the dedication of a woman as she watches her lover’s life ebb away while his art takes center stage- a work of sheer brilliance.”

from Reader’s Favorite:

“Charlie’s passion for his art makes this book stand out. His story has me wondering whether I’m using my time for something worthwhile. Despite expecting to die young, Charlie fought relentlessly to pursue his dream of creating art and never gave up.”

from Independent Book Review:

“Captivating. Charming. Brilliant.
While its focus is on the life and love of an artist, this memoir would be valuable to anyone witnessing their loved one battle for life.”

from NetGalley:

The Swing by Susan Dennis is a beautifully written memoir of a long-lasting loving relationship. When that relationship is challenged by ill health and setbacks. This relationship defies the odds. I really felt for Susan and understood her self-denial. Her memoir will help many people facing similar obstacles in their lives.”

Susan wrote a guest post on writing a memoir at Women Writers, Women’s Books.

Find The Swing on Goodreads