Synopses & Reviews
Andrew Marlow, a psychiatrist, has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when the renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes Marlow's patient.
When Oliver refuses to talk or cooperate, Marlow finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this silent genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.
Moving from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.
"A beautiful work of visual art can unhinge even its most ardent admirers, at least those in the grip of the Stendhal Syndrome -- an intense hypercultural swoon (named for the novelist who first wrote about it) accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucination. Such feverish emotions inform Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, a novel with painting at the center of it." The Wall Street Journal
"As in The Historian, Kostova's visual images are stunning. She uses words to paint the pictures crucial to the plot and then carefully directs readers' attention to background characters, facial expressions and colors important to uncovering the novel's central mystery." Huffington Post
"The many ardent admirers of The Historian will be happy to learn that The Swan Thieves offers plenty of the same pleasures." --Washington Post
"A must-read for lovers of historical fiction....The Swan Thieves shows the same meticulous historical research and scene-setting description that elevated The Historian from a vampire tale to a work of art." --Associated Press
"A compelling story....Fans of The Historian have been waiting a long time for a new work from Kostova. They won't be disappointed." --Denver Post
"Kostova's eloquent prose possesses the power to both transport and inspire." --BookPage
"Kostova knows how to craft a breathless ending." --Entertainment Weekly
Kostova's masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love, to create a story of obsession, history's losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kostova is the author of the international bestseller The Historian. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.
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