Beyond Measure

ISBN: 9781896951492

Price: $22.95

Format: Trade Paperback

Size: 5.56" x 8.51"

Publication Date: Sep 13, 2003

FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
FIC014000 FICTION / Historical

Shortlisted, 2004 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Nominated, 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize
Winner, 2005 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
Nominated, 2005 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize


“Holdstock, with a few deft strokes, pulls the reader into the tumultuous life of an alluring rabble of characters: painters, sculptors, patrons, fools, and slaves … In Beyond Measure, she proves herself a master of pacing. Her lively, macabre plot trips lightly along in spite of its dark elements.”
The Globe and Mail

“This well-executed novel can sit comfortably on any bookshelf alongside work by writers like A.S. Byatt and Jane Urquhart.”
Vancouver Sun

“In Beyond Measure, Holdstock has created a fascinating portrayal of a society obsessed with surfaces, which sees the creation of beauty as ample justification for torture, mutilation, and murder.”
Books in Canada



The art world of mid-16th century Italy comes to life through the eyes of a piebald slave stolen from her home and family in Africa.

Chiara, as she is eventually named, is sold to Paolo Pallavicino, an artist in service of Giuliano de Medici. When several unfortunate incidents occur, the artist’s wife believes her to be a curse and demands that she be sent away. From this starting point, Chiara works her way from painter to painter, observing the games the artists play on each other and the rivalries that fuel their artistic creations.