Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Muralist
Cover of The Muralist
The Muralist
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
Don't miss B. A. Shapiro's new novel, The Collector's Apprentice, available now!
“Vibrant and suspenseful . . . Like The Art Forger, this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist.” —The Washington Post
“B. A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her ‘addictive’ novel The Art Forger. Now, she’s back with another thrilling tale from the art world.” —Entertainment Weekly

When Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie’s auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now-famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
 
Don't miss B. A. Shapiro's new novel, The Collector's Apprentice, available now!
“Vibrant and suspenseful . . . Like The Art Forger, this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist.” —The Washington Post
“B. A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her ‘addictive’ novel The Art Forger. Now, she’s back with another thrilling tale from the art world.” —Entertainment Weekly

When Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie’s auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now-famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
 
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.9
  • Lexile:
    830
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • B. A. Shapiro is the bestselling author of The Collector's ApprenticeThe Muralist, and The Art Forger, which won the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Boston Authors Society Award for Fiction, among other honors. Her books have been selected as community reads in numerous cities and translated throughout the world. Before becoming a novelist, she taught sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She and her husband, Dan, divide their time between Boston and Florida.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 21, 2015
    After the success of The Art Forger, Shapiro returns to the art world, this time focusing on the budding Abstract Expressionist movement, whose major players, Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollack, interact with the fictional Alizée Benoit until her mysterious disappearance in 1940. Danielle Abrams, a cataloguer at Christie’s in the present who is haunted by her great aunt Alizée, comes across some canvases that may have been painted by her enigmatic relative. The novel goes back and forth in time, and pre–World War II America comes to life in the flashbacks. Alizée and her colleagues are hired by the WPA to paint public works, but she is plagued by Hitler’s frightening actions against the Jews in Europe, where members of her family are trying to escape. Passionate about her work and finding new ways to express herself, she is caught up in the horrors overseas and the obstacles put up by America to keep out refugees—exemplified by the evil machinations of Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long. Though compelling, Shapiro’s latest is bogged down in relaying well-researched material about the pre-WWII politics and developments in the art world, ultimately undermining the power of the fictional story. Additionally, Alizée is a formidable character, but her modern-day counterpart, Danielle, lacks depth, diminishing the dénouement when she finally learns the truth about her great aunt.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2015

    Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Charles Lindbergh, and other remarkable personages of 20th-century history all make appearances in this novel about a fictional Works Progress Administration muralist, Alizee Benoit, who mysteriously disappears in New York City while trying to obtain visas for her Jewish family trapped in Europe during World War II. The narrative alternates between the 1930s and 1940s and the present as Alizee's great-niece tries to find out what happened to her aunt and her art. As with the The Art Forger, Shapiro weaves her research and art history expertise into an enjoyable and highly readable novel. [A November LibraryReads pick.--Ed.]

    READ-ALIKE Lisa Barr's Fugitive Colors.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2015
    A political artist disappears and, 70 years later, her great-niece determines to find out why. Shapiro takes a familiar ramp to launch her new mystery-a young woman goes missing. The author of The Art Forger (2012) returns to the canvas of art history to portray her titular figure, the muralist, one Alizee Benoit. She is, of course, "charismatic, headstrong, and talented." She is-must be?-a fragile beauty who "captures the room" and, quite briskly, the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt. Benoit paints for the Works Progress Administration, circa 1940, and lives with "no hot water, no heat on weekends" in Greenwich Village. Her contemporary great-niece, Danielle Abrams, toils in an auction house and pines to know why her aunt vanished. Shapiro toggles her very short chapters between Abrams in 2015, searching for clues in plucky first-person narration, and the lost Benoit era depicted through an omniscient voice. With her Jewish relatives imperiled in Europe, Benoit agitates politically, paints boldly, and pals around with her gang: "Jack, Bill, Gorky," "Lee and Mark": Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, and Mark Rothko. The immortals of abstract impressionism drink, argue, and flirt with the muralist. But don't expect the derivative deliciousness of The Paris Wife: the dialogue is wooden; the characterizations predictable. Mark's kisses are invariably "light," and he wants Benoit only one way: "desperately." Occasional sentences are howlers. Eleanor Roosevelt's deep, end-of-life regret that the United States barred thousands of Europe's Jewish refugees adds poignant color to this story, but Shapiro tries too hard to make her fiction into moral instruction.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from October 15, 2015
    Shapiro follows the enthusiastically received The Art Forger (2012) with an even more polished and resonant tale. In the present, Danielle, an artist working for an art auction house, discovers several abstract expressionist paintings that resemble canvases painted by her mysterious great-aunt, Alizee Benoit, who disappeared in 1940. Alizee steps in to tell her haunting story in chapters set in 1939 New York City, where she and real-life painter Lee Krasner are working on WPA murals in a harshly cold warehouse. When Eleanor Roosevelt tours the shabby facility, Alizee boldly asks the First Lady why none of the murals are abstract expressionist in style. Will their encounter be consequential? Alizee is passionate about art but far more concerned about her French Jewish family and their desperate struggle to secure visas to America to escape the Nazis. As dramatic, unexpected events transpire, Shapiro portrays the brilliant, unstable painter Mark Rothko and Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long, who covertly obstructed the issuing of visas to desperate Jewish refugees. Shapiro perceptively parallels the creative valor of abstract artists seeking essential truth with that of those who courageously protested the government's inhumanity. Shapiro's novel of epic moral failings is riveting, gracefully romantic, and sharply revelatory; it is also tragic in its timeliness as the world faces new refugee crises.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Algonquin Books
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Muralist
The Muralist
A Novel
B. A. Shapiro
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel