Authors on Stage: Barbara Shapiro
[October 2012] –The rarified world of art collides with the unseemly world of forgery and deception in B.A. Shapiro’s celebrated debut novel, The Art Forger. Ms. Shapiro will appear at the Library on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 as part of the Authors on Stage series. The event is co-sponsored by Elm Street Books and will take place at 12 noon in the Adrian Lamb Room. Refreshments will be served.
Shapiro skillfully blends fact and fiction in her fascinating literary thriller, The Art Forger. On March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole with thirteen pieces of art worth today over $500 million. The works, including four by Edgar Degas, have never been recovered, making this the largest unsolved art heist in history.
This daring caper was the inspiration for Shapiro’s tale, which introduces Claire Roth, a talented young Boston artist whose career has been sidelined. When she is approached by an influential art dealer who promises her a gallery show in exchange for forging a Degas painting, Roth sets in motion events that are not unlike making a pact with the devil. Along with an insider’s look at the volatility and fragility of the art world, and the world of forgery over the ages, Shapiro puts forth questions of morality that touch on “how far would you be willing to go to forward yourself?”
B.A. Shapiro lives in Boston and teaches creative writing at Northeastern University.