12 October 2012

Imprint Friday: The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Algonquin Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Some books defy your attempts to skim a little to see if you might be interested. B. A. Shapiro's The Art Forger is just such a novel. Before I finished the first couple of paragraphs, I was already imagining the stacked canvases, misshapen tubes of oils, and smell of turpentine that are so prominent in Claire Roth's art studio / home in Boston's SOWA district.

For a few brief paragraphs Claire is still innocent, free from the devil's pact that will test her talents and threaten her soul. Then hints of what's to come infiltrate the story, and before I knew it, I was on chapter 17.

Here's the publisher's summary:
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
Shapiro has written an engaging and successful literary thriller that will quickly rise to top of the genre. Just as an artist carefully places layers of paint on the canvas to create a masterpiece, Shapiro layers her novel with intrigue, mystery, history, and motivations to tell a memorable story.

Claire, Aiden, and the rivals and co-conspirators that cross their paths are as multidimensional as the plot. Whether or not you'd make the same choices they do, you'll be be caught up in the centuries-old game of deception, wealth, acquisition, and quest for fame that shadows the fine arts. The bonus is how much you'll learn about the art world, Degas, and the fine line between forger and legitimate reproductionist.

In the following short video, Shapiro talks about what motivated her to write The Art Forger.

For more on B. A. Shapiro and The Art Forger, visit the author's website, where you'll find an excerpt from the novel, the book tour stops, and the author's blog. You can also check out Shapiro's Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

Algonquin Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Executive Editor Chuck Adams's introductory letter, posted here on January 7, 2011.

The Art Forger at Powell's
The Art Forger at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Workman / Algonquin Books, October 23, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616201326


bermudaonion 10/12/12, 6:29 AM  

I love art as well as books and think the premise of this book sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it!

Chinoiseries 10/12/12, 6:31 AM  

A literary thriller about the shady world behind art forgery. Exciting :) I really like Shapiro's book trailer too.

Sandy Nawrot 10/12/12, 6:43 AM  

I've got this book (signed) from SIBA! OK there are literally 30 books from SIBA I feel like I need to read right this second. I'm going insane.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 10/12/12, 6:59 AM  

This does sound really good. I need to make time to read my copy.

Have a nice weekend.

caite 10/12/12, 7:00 AM  

I recently saw a show about a similar real life case...art theft, both actual paintings and largely forgeries is a HUGE business.

Harvee 10/12/12, 7:34 AM  

I'm so glad the book's not called The Daughter of the Art Forger. So many books are about the daughters...lol.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/12/12, 7:56 AM  

I don't know, for some reason I love art but hate books about art, and I don't care about sports very much but love books about sports. Weird, I know!

Daryl 10/12/12, 8:31 AM  

you are so right, i am now wanting to read this, thanks!

Julie P. 10/12/12, 4:49 PM  

This is one of my must-read books for this month!

Anonymous,  10/13/12, 1:01 AM  

And weirdly enough, I'm the opposite of OJ. Not that interested in art, but I do like artists in books. And I tolerate sports on tv (and just cheered on our niece at a powder puff football game), but despise sports in books.

So I'd totally read this one.

Peppermint Ph.D. 10/13/12, 1:28 PM  

Adding this one to the ever growing pile of must reads :)

Laurie C 10/15/12, 9:49 AM  

I'm working on a review of this one now! (Well, sort of now.)

Laurie C 11/3/12, 4:50 PM  

I liked The Art Forger, too, but maybe not quite as much as you!

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