Steve Martin's new novel An Object of Beauty will be released November 23, 2010.
A captivating presence who naturally draws in everyone around her, Lacey Yeager appears on the New York art scene as a clever and funny young intern at Sotheby's. With her charm, ambition, and questionable and sometimes illegal tactics, she climbs the cultural ladder, step by step, and moves from cataloging paintings to success in the labyrinthine and mysterious art world. Her knowledge of art and art collectors quickly grows, and the list of men she enchants and inevitably destroys grows right alongside it. Her rise to the highest tiers of the city's social life parallel the soaring heights - and, at times, the dark lows - of the art world and the country from the early 1990s through today. Will be released November 23, 2010.
Pre-Order An Object Of Beauty at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders.
An Object Of Beauty will be released in the UK on November 25. You can pre-order the UK version from Amazon UK.
Read an early review here:
The NYC art world, seen through the eyes of its most impartial constituents.
In his latest novel, Martin (Born Standing Up, 2007, etc.) unveils an ambitious and heartfelt analysis of both the complexity and absurdity of the Manhattan art market. It begins, appropriately enough, with a confession. "I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see the manuscript bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else." This declaration spills from arts writer David Franks, who finds a small universe encapsulated in the life of his subject, ex-lover Lacey. From this humble beginning, David chronicles the rise and fall of the fine-art market from the late '90s through the present day, complete with record-breaking prices, art thefts and the premature globalization of a complex system. After college, Lacey and David enter the burgeoning artistic world, Lacey as a grunt at Sotheby's, David as a struggling writer. David habitually profiles Lacey, an insanely determined dealer with a passion for creativity and wealth. Martin offers fascinating literary capers, mixing in real-life elements like a fictional run-in with novelist John Updike and the spectacular $500 million dollar theft at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. As Lacey graduates to art speculation and gallery ownership, Martin populates her world with a host of compelling characters, among them a desperately infatuated Parisian broker, a manipulative and powerful mentor, and Pilot Mouse, a minor boyfriend who reinvents himself as a Banksy-like artistic guerrilla. To add to the reader's experience, Martin includes reproductions of artwork referenced in the text, lending another layer of sophistication to an already absorbing story. An artfully told tale of trade, caste and the obsessive mindset of collectors.