The Swan Thieves
By Elizabeth Kostova
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 9780316065795, 592pp.)
Publication Date: November 2010
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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.
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.
The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova's follow-up to her 2005 novel The Historian, revolves around twin stories: a 19th century love affair between two artists, and a modern-day psychiatrist treating an artist arrested for stabbing a painting at Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery of Art. More at NPR.org
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"The many ardent admirers of The Historian will be happy to learn that The Swan Thieves offers plenty of the same pleasures."
"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."
"A compelling story....Fans of The Historian have been waiting a long time for a new work from Kostova. They won't be disappointed."
"Kostova's eloquent prose possesses the power to both transport and inspire."
"Kostova knows how to craft a breathless ending."