“With the same level of intrigue and attention to detail that drew readers to The Art Forger, The Muralist focuses on the early days of WWII and the dawn of Abstract Expressionism. Shapiro brings to life New York City artists Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, who are both inspired by the novel's brave and talented protagonist, Alizee Benoit. As these struggling artists find traction within their trade, Benoit attempts to bring awareness to the plight of European refugees and to defuse anti-Semitic politics in the U.S. through her art. Moving from past to present, readers will cheer for Benoit's grandniece, Danielle, who is researching her family history to find the truth about Alizee's mysterious disappearance and shed light on the sacrifices and contributions she made through art. Shapiro delivers another fascinating and compelling story.”
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Art Forger come a thrilling new novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II. Alizee Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) vanishes in New York City in 1940 amid personal and political turmoil. No one knows that happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-nit 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 recently found works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt? Entwining the live of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner working of todays New York art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism. B.A. Shaprio is a master at telling a gripping story while exploring provocative themes. In Alezee and Danielle she has created two unforgettable women, artists both, who compel us to ask, What happens when luminous talent collides with inexorable historical forces? Does great art have the power to change the world? And to what lengths should a person to thwart evil?