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Portrait of an Unknown Lady

Maria Gainza Thomas Bunstead



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04 March 2022
For readers of Olivia Laing, Mariana Enriquez, Deborah Levy and Valeria Luiselli, a playfully brilliant novel about women's influence, legacy, art and friendship
Set in Buenos Aires of the '60s and present day, this is a glittering novel full of intrigue and glamour. It celebrates three magnetic women and their influence in a bohemian underworld of art forgery, European emigres, and once-grand hotels.

At the heart of the book is the enigmatic Renee, artist-savant and the best forger in town, who becomes the preoccupation, even obsession, of the book's young narrator, after the death of her own mentor, Enriqueta. Told as a kind of homage, through memories, interviews, and even an auction catalogue, Portrait of an Unknown Lady is a mordant, playful novel about influence, authenticity, value, and what we really know of one another.
Translated by:  
Imprint:   Harvill
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   211g
ISBN:   9781787303249
ISBN 10:   1787303241
Pages:   208
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Maria Gainza (Author) Maria Gainza was born in Buenos Aires, where she still lives. She has worked as a correspondent for The New York Times, as well as for ArtNews. For more than ten years she was a regular contributor to the magazine Artforum. Her debut novel, Optic Nerve, was published by Harvill Secker in 2019.

Reviews for Portrait of an Unknown Lady

'There are many pleasures to be had in reading Portrait of an Unknown Lady: its sublime, transcendent sentences, its arch and shadowy figures. Most of all, the zone to which you are transported, which is a Buenos Aires of canvases, trap doors, and dreams' -- Amina Cain, author of INDELICACY 'Vividly detailed and saturated with intricate feeling, Gainza's novel is an engrossing exploration of authenticity, obsession, and the enveloping allure of art' -- Alexandra Kleeman, author of SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

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