#1 Indie Next Pick for November 2012
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there's more to this crime than meets the eye.
Claire makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer. Desperate to improve her situation, she lets herself be lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting - one of the Degas masterpieces stolen from the Gardner Museum - in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when the long-missing Degas painting - the one that had been hanging for one hundred years at the Gardner - is delivered to Claire's studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.
Claire's search for the truth about the painting's origins leads her into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life. B. A. Shapiro's razor-sharp writing and rich plot twists make The Art Forger an absorbing literary thriller that treats us to three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors. it's a dazzling novel about seeing - and not seeing - the secrets that lie beneath the canvas.
The Art Forger
"These some of your reproductions?" he calls from the other side of the
room. Aiden Markel, the owner of the world-renowned Markel G, here for a
studio visit. Aiden Markel, who just a few months ago barely acknowledged my
presence when I stopped by his tony Newbury Street gallery to see a new
I look over my shoulder. "Yeah. I don't usually have any completed ones here. But the truck's tied up all week, so the Degas isn't getting picked up till Friday."
"Reproductions.com. Got to love the name. Saw the article in the Globe last month. Nice exposure for you." He hesitates. "I guess?"
"Not exactly the kind I'm looking for." Just what I need: publicity for pretending to paint someone else's masterpiece. "I tried to get out of the interview, but Repro wouldn't stand for it."
"Are they doing as well as their hype?"
"Probably better," I say, although I'm not really listening and not at ...
Ms. Shapiro picked up her pallet and came up with an enthralling picture story of the world of artists, paintings, greed, copying and forging that will keep her readers on the edge of their seats. I loved this book!
(Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Full Review (1316 words).
Sometimes, I think, we are under the magical assumption that a writer has an idea, writes a story, then an editor at a publishing house acquires it, and it is published. Four clean, clear steps in a straight forward-moving line.
Sigh. Maybe I should revise that we to an I.
I am a fiction writer. And my process is well kind of different from the one above. I get an idea for a story. But then I write part of it, get stuck, cut half of it, write it again, give it to a critique partner to read, take her extensive notes, cut half of it again, then revise what is left. I repeat this part of the process until the story is done. Then my agent sends it out to an editor. I get a rejection. Then another editor, and I get another ...
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