Headlong, Michael Frayn Invited to dinner by the boorish local landowner, Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his art-historian wife are asked to assess three dusty paintings blocking the draught from the chimney. But hiding beneath the soot is nothing less—Martin believes—than a lost work by Bruegel. So begins a hilarious trail of lies and concealments, desperate schemes and soaring hopes as Martin, betting all that he owns and much that he doesn’t, embarks on a quest to prove his hunch, win his wife over, and separate the painting from its owner.
What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt When art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery, he buys the work; tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler; and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. Leo’s story, which spans twenty-five years, follows the growing involvement between his family and Bill’s—an intricate constellation of attachments that includes the two men, their wives, and their sons. But the bonds between them are tested, first by sudden tragedy, and then by a monstrous duplicity that slowly comes to the surface.
The Blazing World, by Siri Hustvedt The provocative story of artist Harriet Burden, who, after years of having her work ignored, ignites an explosive scandal in New York’s art world when she recruits three young men to present her creations as their own. Yet when the shows succeed and Burden steps forward for her triumphant reveal, she is betrayed by the third man, Rune. Many critics side with him, and Burden and Rune find themselves in a charged and dangerous game, one that ends in his bizarre death.
Lisette’s List, by Susan Vreeland In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, Andre, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for Andre’s grandfather Pascal. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provencal landscape itself in a new light. With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings.
Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland As impressionistically dazzling and humane as the Renoir painting that inspires it, Luncheon of the Boating Party is itself a true work of art that blends the manifest joys and the impossible longings of life into a single coherent vision.
The Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland The Forest Lover traces the courageous life and career of Emily Carr, who—more than Georgia O’Keeffe or Frida Kahlo—blazed a path for modern women artists. From illegal potlatches in tribal communities to artists’ studios in pre-World War I Paris, Vreeland tells her story with gusto and suspense, giving us a glorious novel that will appeal to lovers of art, native cultures, and lush historical fiction.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer—but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work’s inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner’s hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives.