The Last Nude
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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (1/4/2012)
Paris, 1927, a day in July. A destitute young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara’s most accomplished and prized works of art, including Beautiful Rafaela, “one of the most important nudes of the twentieth century” (New York Times).
The relationship between the artist and her muse lasted less than a year, yet in 1980, just before Tamara died, she was working on a copy of Beautiful Rafaela. Author Ellis Avery imagines their affair from Rafaela’s point of view, and the final day of Tamara’s life from the painter’s point of view. A window into Jazz Age Paris as the forces of history close in, The Last Nude is a story of genius and craft, art and money, friendship and desire.
Praise For The Last Nude…
“Absorbing, affecting, and agitating . . . this work is highly recommended.”
—Library Journal [HC starred review]
“The strength of Avery’s novel lies in her depiction of a driven and accomplished artist and an impressionable waif who finds that her beauty no longer belongs to her.”
“What’s not to love about Ellis Avery’s romantic novel.”
“Plummer . . . captures [young Rafaela’s] appealing energy. . . . Caruso narrates the artist’s part just as convincingly. . . . This is an excellent production of a fascinating story.”
“Breaks important ground for literature, and does so with exuberance, skill and grace.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“A wholly original and engrossing story, set in a fascinating time and place . . . and a display of exceptional talent.”
—The Boston Globe
“A taut, elegant novel...[Avery’s] prose sings.”
“Both actors’ convincing performances match the voices of numerous internationals residing in Paris during the Jazz Age.”
“Caruso’s voice for Rafaela is a breathy whisper. It becomes more emotional as Rafaela’s relationship with Tamara changes from employer to friend to lover. Plummer reads the elderly Tamara beautifully. . . . A fascinating combination of fact and fiction.”
HighBridge Company, 9781611744552, 690pp.
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
About the Author
ELLIS AVERY is the author of The Teahouse Fire, winner of Lambda, Ohioana, and American Library Association awards, and the personal narrative The Smoke Week, about life in downtown Manhattan during and after 9/11/01. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University and lives in New York City.