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This title in other editions

Pictures at an Exhibition

by

Pictures at an Exhibition Cover

ISBN13: 9780307266859
ISBN10: 0307266850
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in a Paris darkened by World War II, Sara Houghteling's sweeping and sensuous debut novel tells the story of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation.

Born to an art dealer and his pianist wife, Max Berenzon is forbidden from entering the family business for reasons he cannot understand. He reluctantly attends medical school, reserving his true passion for his father's beautiful and brilliant gallery assistant, Rose Clément. When Paris falls to the Nazis, the Berenzons survive in hiding. They return in 1944 to find that their priceless collection has vanished: gone are the Matisses, the Picassos, and a singular Manet of mysterious importance. Madly driven to recover his father's paintings, Max navigates a torn city of corrupt art dealers, black marketers, Résistants, and collaborators. His quest will reveal the tragic disappearance of his closest friend, the heroism of his lost love, and the truth behind a devastating family secret.

Written with tense drama and a historian's eye for detail, Houghteling's novel draws on the real-life stories of France's preeminent art-dealing families and the forgotten biography of the only French woman to work as a double agent inside the Nazis' looted art stronghold. Pictures at an Exhibition conjures the vanished collections, the lives of the artists and their dealers, the exquisite romance, and the shattering loss of a singular era. It is a work of astonishing ambition and beauty from an immensely gifted new novelist.

Review:

When the Nazis invaded France and began gutting Jewish-owned galleries, a modest curator named Rose Valland seemed eager to help. She impressed the Germans with her knowledge of the local art market and the meticulous notes she took on the looted Rembrandts and Vermeers as they arrived at the Jeu de Paume on their way east to Hitler. To German eyes, she was a Parisian fantasy: pretty, discreet, cultured.... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Pictures at an Exhibition is remarkably self-assured, astute, worldly, and well-informed: in fact, it does not look like a first novel at all. Its subject matter — stolen paintings, and Nazis, and the insatiable hunger for beauty — requires both erudition and brilliance, and Sara Houghteling has plenty of both, along with a sense of humor and a warm heart." Charles Baxter, author of The Soul Thief

Review:

"What a beautiful book! Sara Houghteling's theme here is attachment: to the beauty of art, to childhood, to a world before loss and tragedy. The Paris she conjures for us is vivid and sad, the paintings she describes are glorious. Her prose is luminous." Sophie Gee, author of The Scandal of the Season

Review:

"In Pictures at an Exhibition, Sara Houghteling breathes new life into one of history's great, unfinished stories. As exquisitely detailed and lavishly sensuous as the paintings that populate its pages, this is a riveting debut." Dustin Thomason, co-author of The Rule of Four

Review:

"Houghteling received a Fulbright to study paintings that went missing during the war, and the detail shines through in this first novel, which effectively depicts the new reality for Jews in postwar Europe." Library Journal

Review:

"Houghtelings vivid descriptions of paintings and their power add to the allure of this impressive debut novel." Booklist

Review:

"[An] entertaining read and a window into a period in the history of the art market that was quickly denied." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[B]esides being a thriller, a travelogue and a mystery, this book also makes for an excellent discussion." Minneapolis Star Tribune

About the Author

Sara Houghteling is a graduate of Harvard College and received her master's in fine arts from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Paris, first place in the Avery and Jules Hopwood Awards, and a John Steinbeck Fellowship. She lives in California, where she teaches high school English.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Daniel Hatch, March 21, 2010 (view all comments by Daniel Hatch)
I loved the setting and the journey. Learning about the art scene in Paris of the period was fascinating. Enjoy!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307266859
Author:
Houghteling, Sara
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Art dealers
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Art treasures in war
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090217
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 PHOTOGRAPHS IN TEXT
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.40x6.58x1.02 in. 1.08 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Pictures at an Exhibition Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307266859 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Pictures at an Exhibition is remarkably self-assured, astute, worldly, and well-informed: in fact, it does not look like a first novel at all. Its subject matter — stolen paintings, and Nazis, and the insatiable hunger for beauty — requires both erudition and brilliance, and Sara Houghteling has plenty of both, along with a sense of humor and a warm heart."
"Review" by , "What a beautiful book! Sara Houghteling's theme here is attachment: to the beauty of art, to childhood, to a world before loss and tragedy. The Paris she conjures for us is vivid and sad, the paintings she describes are glorious. Her prose is luminous."
"Review" by , "In Pictures at an Exhibition, Sara Houghteling breathes new life into one of history's great, unfinished stories. As exquisitely detailed and lavishly sensuous as the paintings that populate its pages, this is a riveting debut."
"Review" by , "Houghteling received a Fulbright to study paintings that went missing during the war, and the detail shines through in this first novel, which effectively depicts the new reality for Jews in postwar Europe."
"Review" by , "Houghtelings vivid descriptions of paintings and their power add to the allure of this impressive debut novel."
"Review" by , "[An] entertaining read and a window into a period in the history of the art market that was quickly denied."
"Review" by , "[B]esides being a thriller, a travelogue and a mystery, this book also makes for an excellent discussion."
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