Art and literature go hand in hand. Authors and artists often influence each other, so it is no wonder there is such a wonderful selection of fiction inspired by the arts. Darien Library and Barrett Bookstore welcome an evening of vivacious virtual conversation with three authors whose work bridges the gap between art and fiction. Jonathan Santlofer, author of The Last Mona Lisa, Michaela Carter author of Leonora in the Morning Light, and Natasha Lester, author of The Riviera House.
About The Last Mona Lisa
The Last Mona Lisa, an enthralling tale about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, the forgeries that appeared in its wake, and the present-day underbelly of the art world. The Last Mona Lisa taps into our universal fascination with Da Vinci’s masterpiece, weaving a thrilling tale through questions of what’s real and what’s fake, as written by an author whose own replications of iconic art are highly sought.
About Jonathan Santlofer
Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, The Death Artist, was an international bestseller, a People Magazine “Page-Turner of the Week” and is currently in development at Fox, along with his second and third novels. His fourth novel, Anatomy of Fear, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy as The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has been making replications of famous paintings for wealthy clients for more than 20 years.
About Leonora in the Morning Light
London, 1937: Leonora Carrington is a twenty-year-old on the cusp of independence, discovering her own creative powers as a painter, when she falls into a turbulent, passionate love affair with Max Ernst, a married artist twenty-six years older. Determined to break free from her family’s upper-class expectations, she follows him to Paris. Leonora begins to experiment with her own work, gaining recognition under her own name—until, suddenly, the shadow of war and occupation begins to spread over Europe, and headlines emerge denouncing Max and his circle as “degenerates.” Forced to flee France, Max and Leonora are separated, but both begin remarkable journeys that will shape them as artists and individuals. Based on true events and historical figures, Leonora in the Morning Light is an unforgettable story of love, art, and destiny that restores a twentieth-century heroine to her rightful place.
About Michaela Carter
Michaela Carter is a writer, painter, and award-winning poet. She studied theater at UCLA and holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Her debut novel Further Out Than You Thought was an Indie Next List Pick, and she was the Arizona Republic Critic’s Pick for Best Debut Author in 2014. She is the co-founder of the independent bookstore the Peregrine Book Company in Prescott, Arizona, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Her novel Leonora In the Morning Light is one of O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Most Anticipated Historical Novels That Will Sweep You Away” and LitHub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2021.”
About The Riviera House
Paris, 1939: While working at the Louvre, Eliane Dufort falls for talented painter Xavier. But when the Nazis occupy the city, Xavier leaves for England and Eliane must send her sisters to the country. Broken-hearted, she finds herself working with the mysterious Rose Valland on a dangerous secret mission for the French Resistance: to record all the priceless national treasures the Germans are stealing.
Present Day: Desperate to escape her grief, Remy Lang arrives at a stunning private estate on the French Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalogue of artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall in Sydney. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?
About Natasha Lester
Natasha Lester worked as a marketing executive for L'Oréal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts and has written several novels including A Kiss From Mr. Fitzgerald, Her Mother's Secret and The Paris Seamstress. In her spare time Natasha loves to teach writing, is a sought after public speaker and can often be found playing dress-up with her three children. She lives in Perth, Australia.
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