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Biblioasis Winter 2022

Seeing Things in the Sistine Chapel
By (author): Jeannie Marshall
Jeannie Marshall





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 13, 2022
$24.95 CAD


8in x 5 x 0.5 in | 1 gr


40 Colour illustrations
ART / History / Renaissance
History of art|Religious and ceremonial art|Architecture: public, commercial and industrial buildings|Memoirs|History of religion|Relating to religious groups|Renaissance style

A writer studies a famous work of art only to see herself and her own cultural moment revealed at its heart.

Jeannie Marshall lived in Rome for ten years without visiting the Sistine Chapel: she didn’t want to have a superficial experience of the frescos, but she wasn’t sure how, amidst the crowds of tour groups and the noise of pop culture allusions, she could have anything but. What’s more, she wondered what this very old, very Catholic art, created by a man who grew up under the warm Tuscan sun of the Renaissance, could possibly have to say to a modern woman raised in the New World by a family in retreat from Christianity—and what could it say to any of us living in the twenty-first century.

Seeing Things in the Sistine Chapel is Marshall's story of her intentional encounter with one of the world’s most cherished artworks and an impassioned defence of the role of art in our lives. A personal account of finding meaning, and a model for how to engage deeply with the past, Seeing Things is a quietly sublime meditation on how art, once invested with the power to save our souls, can enlarge our lives if only we learn how to look.

Key selling points

  • Contemporary themes: the search for meaning and for spirituality in a secular world; the art of attention; reconciliation with the Catholic Church; the meaning and value of art (and the humanities) in the 21st century, especially art from cultures and eras radically different from our own.
  • Editorial comps include: Mark Doty’s Still Life with Oysters and Lemons, So Much Longing in So Little Space: The Art of Edvard Munsch by Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing
  • Marshall’s nonfiction and journalism have appeared in Slate, The Common, Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and elsewhere. Born in Newmarket, Ontario, she has lived in Toronto and currently resides in Rome.
  • Finished books to include four-colour images throughout.

Jeannie Marshall is a writer who has been living in Italy with her family since 2002. She is the author of a non-fiction book about the implications of the worldwide change in the way that children eat. In Canada it’s called Outside the Box: Why Our Children Need Real Food, Not Food Products (Random House Canada) and in the United States it’s called The Lost Art of Feeding Kids (Beacon Press). She is a journalist and contributes articles to Macleans and The Walrus, and has published literary non-fiction essays in The Common, Brick, Literary Review of Canada, and Literary Mama. She was a staff features writer at the National Post in Toronto.


  • Print run: 10,000
  • Co-op available
  • Advance reader copies at Winter Institute
  • North American TV & radio campaign
  • National print campaign:
  • Online and social media campaign. Giveaways through Edelweiss, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram.
  • E-book available same date as print edition, e-book ISBN included on press materials and websites and promoted via social media
  • Excerpts in Lit Hub, Electric Lit

  • Praise for Jeannie Marshall

    “Engaging … admirably well-researched … a well-timed eye-opener.”—Chris Nuttal-Smith, Globe and Mail

    “Marshall’s clear, direct book ably captures the frustrations of trying to find the healthiest path and inspiring kids to do the same.”—Kirkus Reviews

    “Marshall ... writes passionately about the dangers posed by processed foods—not just to our children’s health but to our way of life, our human attachment to the 'ordinary happiness' of meals cooked at home from real foods.”—Boston Globe

    Outside the Box is about teaching kids how to appreciate real food but also about how globalization is changing the way the world eats. In this beautifully written book about what needs to be done to preserve food culture in Italy and elsewhere, Marshall makes the political personal as she explains how she is teaching her son to enjoy the pleasures of eating food prepared, cooked and lovingly shared by friends and family.”—Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics

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