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The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro, to be released November 3, 2015 by Algonquin Books
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Art Forger comes a new novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II.
Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940. No one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her group of artistic friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind recently found works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
The Muralist plunges readers into prewar politics and the plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures today’s New York art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant American school of Abstract Expressionism. (publisher)
It was there when I arrived that morning, sitting to the right of my desk, ostensibly no different from the other half-dozen cartons on the floor, flaps bent back, paintings haphazardly poking out. As soon as I saw it, I ripped off my gloves,dropped to my knees, and pawed through the contents. I didn't realize I wasn't breathing until my chest began to ache and little black dots jumped around the edges of my vision.Page 56:
"Your work is damned good."I have enjoyed several historical novels on art and am looking forward to this one.
"Hans doesn't seem to agree."