Modern Masterpieces and Masterful Deception Cross Paths in "The Art Forger"

Nov 12, 2012

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the author and writing instructor B. A. Shapiro about her widely praised new novel, "The Art Forger." In 1990, more than a dozen works of art (today worth, in sum, $500+ million) were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, but in this equally fascinating and entertaining novel, our heroine --- Claire Roth, a struggling young artist --- learns more about this theft than she ever bargained for. A fun and often quite interesting excursion into the history of modern art --- and especially into the life and work of Degas, as well as the art and craft of high-art forgery --- this novel (as a critic in the pages of Elle has noted) reads a lot like a cross between "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "The Da Vinci Code." And further, per The Washington Post, it is "precise and exciting.... Readers seeking an engaging novel about artists and art scandals will find 'The Art Forger' rewarding for its skillful balance of brisk plotting, significant emotional depth, and a multi-layered narration rich with a sense of moral consequence."