by Walter Robinson
Chick lit has come to bohemia, at least to judge from the handful of books that have recently arrived unbidden in the mail. I was immediately taken by the title character of The American Painter Emma Dial
(W.W. Norton, $24.95), a novel by Los Angeles mother-of-two Samantha Peale. A 30-ish New York artist with striking gray hair and uncanny painting skills, Emma seems authentic to her core, and inhabits a quite believable contemporary bohemia set in SoHo, the East Village and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.