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Harriet Burden, known as Harry, is a lesser-known artist married to a prominent art dealer in New York City. After his death in 1995, she becomes more involved in artistic creation and philosophical performance art. She arranges for three male artists to give shows of her work under their names, looking to prove that women artists are not objectively considered in the world of modern art. Rune is the last artist Harry employs, and he reneges on their arrangement, claiming the works as his own, which leads to an extensive controversy of deadly consequence. Hustvedt illuminates the various forces at work in her heroine's life by presenting multiple viewpoints arranged in interviews, diary entries, family histories, prepared statements, and more, from the many people whose lives were related to and affected by the artist. VERDICT Intelligent and evidently knowledgeable about the world of modern art, theory, and philosophy, Hustvedt describes in detail the insular world of the New York City art scene. References to cultural exemplars from Hegel to Kierkegaard are included as footnotes and discussions among the characters, but the most meaningful connections for the reader are those between mothers and daughters. Despite the smart tone, the novel does not invest the matters at hand with a feeling of importance. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/13.]—James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.