- Publisher: Thistledown Press
- Available in: Paperback, ePUB and WEBpdf formats for Kobo, Kindle and Apple
- ISBN: 9781771871471
- Published: Oct 2017
“In Hunting Piero, Wendy MacIntyre and her narrator are interested in the heart that beats in us and in our works of art. Rather than examining only the beautiful and whole, her novel explores the power of art to include, explore, and sometimes transcend the monstrous, the damaged, and the grotesque in order to recognize the beauty that exists, always, somewhere within the human heart.” — Jack Hodgins, author of Spit Delaney’s Island, Broken Ground, and The Master of Happy Endings
Hunting Piero interweaves Renaissance artist Piero di Cosimo’s fifteenth-century viewpoint with the twenty-first-century reality of two young Canadian students: Agnes Vane, an art history major fascinated by di Cosimo’s multi-layered imagery, and Peter (Pinto) Dervaig, a student of philosophy passionate about preventing cruelty to animals. Both Agnes and Pinto were marginalized in their adolescence because of their unusual appearance. Agnes has slightly simian features. Pinto is a huge man with a multihued skin pigmentation.
When Agnes, as a lonely and alienated child, discovers di Cosimo’s empathetic paintings of animals and human-animal hybrids, she feels she is looked upon gently for the first time in her life. That moment influences her decision to become an animal rights activist, a commitment that ultimately brings her both anguish and insight. Her story is echoed by chapters from di Cosimo’s perspective as he pits his solitary vision, of a golden age when animals did indeed speak, against the dictatorial grip in which Savonarola, destroyer of secular art and culture, holds the city of Florence.
Hunting Piero is both the tale of a passionate moral quest, and a story of redemption and of love tested by tragic missteps and their deadly consequences.