The Last Painting Of Sara De Vos
List Price: $26
Publisher: Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
First entered: 16th, Apr 2016
Number of weeks: 3
“Written in prose so clear that we absorb its images as if by mind meld, “The Last Painting” is gorgeous storytelling: wry, playful, and utterly alive, with an almost tactile awareness of the emotional contours of the human heart. Vividly detailed, acutely sensitive to stratifications of gender and class, it’s fiction that keeps you up at night ― first because you’re barreling through the book, then because you’ve slowed your pace to a crawl, savoring the suspense.” ―Boston GlobeA New York Times Book Review Editor's ChoiceA RARE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY PAINTING LINKS THREE LIVES, ON THREE CONTINENTS, OVER THREE CENTURIES IN THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS, AN EXHILARATING NEW NOVEL FROM DOMINIC SMITH.Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it.New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict.Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.
Name: Dominic Smith
About the author:
Dominic grew up in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The Chicago Tribune.
Dominic is the author of four novels, most recently of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Bright and Distant Shores (a selection for Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of 2011," and shortlisted for Australia's Vance Palmer Fiction Prize and The Age Book of the Year.)
His awards include the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, and the Gulf Coast Fiction Prize.
In 2006, his debut novel "The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre" was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great News Writers Program. It also received the Steven Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. Dominic's second novel, "The Beautiful Miscellaneous," was a Booklist Editors' Pick and optioned for a film by Southpaw Entertainment.
Dominic serves on the fiction faculty in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and has taught recently at the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University, and Southern Methodist University.