Use code FESTIVE21 at checkout for 20% off sitewide! Shop now »

It’s fun to be smart! Brain Quest is America’s #1 educational bestseller. Learn More »

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Art Forger come a thrilling new novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II. Alizee Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) vanishes in New York City in 1940 amid personal and political turmoil. No one knows that happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-nit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie's auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind recently found works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt? Entwining the live of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner working of todays New York art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism. B.A. Shaprio is a master at telling a gripping story while exploring provocative themes. In Alezee and Danielle she has created two unforgettable women, artists both, who compel us to ask, What happens when luminous talent collides with inexorable historical forces? Does great art have the power to change the world? And to what lengths should a person to thwart evil?

Read more

Shipping to the U.S. only. Please see our International FAQ for more information.

Books also available at
Meet the Author
B. A. Shapiro headshot

B. A. Shapiro

More about the author
Review quotes
“B. A. Shapiro makes the radical, varied, and sometimes enigmatic world of abstract expressionism altogether human and accessible in her smart new historical thriller. …It has more emotional ballast and is more skillfully written than what one customarily finds. The novel evokes the horror and sorrow of the Holocaust in just their tedious administrative tasks of retracing steps, of sifting through wreckage. Shapiro also does a wonderful job of restoring complexity to the historical moment and stripping away the clarity of retrospection.” The Boston Globe

“Shapiro’s plotting is deft, and the anonymous paintings and Alizée’s disappearance add mystery and intrigue to the tale. Like her well-received 2012 novel, “The Art Forger,” this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist. …vibrant and suspenseful. As tens of thousands of modern-day asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa surge into Europe, and pictures of their mistreatment are broadcast around the world, “The Muralist” is a grim reminder that history continues to repeat itself.” —The Washington Post

“B.A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her “addictive” novel The Art Forger. Now, she’s back with another thrilling tale from the art world, set right on the brink of World War II.” —Entertainment Weekly

The Muralist is, like What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman or Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, a historical novel that brings the 20th century to life…” USA Today

“Shapiro follows the enthusiastically received The Art Forger (2012) with an even more polished and resonant tale. [Her] novel of epic moral failings is riveting, gracefully romantic, and sharply revelatory; it is also tragic in its timeliness as the world faces new refugee crises.” Booklist (starred review)

“Shapiro’s writing pulses with energy…. The Muralist brings the time period and setting to life. Readers will appreciate Shapiro’s seamless integration of fact into the story and will feel immersed in a time when the world tipped into chaos. Art, history, and mystery — an intriguing and satisfying blend.”Washington Independent Review of Books

“In The Muralist, novelist B.A. Shapiro deftly layers American art history, the facts of World War II and the fictitious stories of Alizee and Dani. …The Muralist is a compelling mystery. …The Muralist elevates Shapiro to an even higher plane and is sure to be a crowning touch in an already celebrated career.” —BookPage

“In this noirish intrigue and fine-art detective story, Shapiro ably intersects the early years of the abstract expressionist movement, the Roosevelts, institutionalized anti-Semitism that denied American visas to Jewish refugees, the relentless run-up to World War II, and the generational losses of the Shoah. Mystery and historical fiction lovers…will find this a riveting read.” Library Journal (starred review)

“Engaging … Shapiro convincingly portrays the work of the artist as an agent of expression and hope in a world of despair.”The New York Jewish Week

“[Shapiro] knows how to craft a page-turner. The Muralist is certainly an engrossing tale. Perhaps it will also send a few readers to the Museum of Modern Art for a fresh look at the craft of Rothko, Pollock, and their contemporaries. That would be a wonderful, and very un-abstract, mingling of art and real life.” —New York Journal of Books 
 
Product Details
Age range
0 - 99
Categories
Number of pages
368
Publication date
October 11, 2016
ISBN
9781616206437