A lean, taut novel about an artist--a painter--at the height of her career; about the art world; about love, fidelity, fame, betrayal and the prices paid in the quest for art for art's sake. Eve Laing, celebrated artist, once the muse of legendary painter and monstre sacr Florian Kis, is a photorealist painter of flowers at the peak of her career, with her work in international galleries and museums. Now Eve is embarking on her most ambitious work to date--seven enormous, elaborate panels depicting the world's deadliest plants. In psychic preparation, she has taken a wrecking ball to her opulent life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover, a drifter half her age, who seems to share her single-minded artistic vision. As the novel opens, Eve is on a late-night walk through London, setting out from her former family home in the well-heeled west of the city back to her studio, a converted factory in the grittier east, where her recently completed masterpiece hangs and where a fatal reckoning may await. Eve makes her way through the city and reflects on her life and the choices she has made and their repercussions, summoning up her wild art college days in London; her New York years as a tyro artist; her vicious rivalry with her college roommate, now a celebrated figure on the international conceptual art scene. With a growing sense of dread, Eve weighs what's been gained and lost in pursuit of her art. As Nightshade moves to its dark, shocking end, it explores large questions--about ambition, artistic truth, betrayal; about bad people making good art; about the consequences of fame; and the devastating price of love.
About the Author
ANNALENA McAFEE worked in newspapers for more than three decades. She was arts and literary editor ofthe Financial Times and founded the Guardian Review, which she edited for six years. McAfee is the author of the novels Hame and The Spoiler and lives in Gloucestershire, England, with her husband, the writer Ian McEwan.