Paula Birnbaum’s lucid and engrossing biography of Chana Orloff (the first of its kind) restores the artist to her rightful place among the 20th century’s foremost sculptors. More than this, through meticulous research embedded in a lively, engaging narrative, a complete portrait emerges of a sublime artist negotiating the difficult balance of her diverse identities. There is also a distinctively Jewish story told here, one of a life’s journey touched, shaped and bruised by late 19th and 20th century social and political upheavals from Ukraine to Palestine, France and Israel: a life that incorporated extraordinary highs and lows including a six-year close friendship with Modigliani and a courageous last-minute border-crossing escape from Nazi pursuers. Both art and artist are brightly illuminated in this vivid record of Chana Orloff’s intense, crowded and extraordinarily creative life.