The Last Nude

The Last Nude

by Ellis Avery
3.8 19

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The Last Nude by Ellis Avery

“As erotic and powerful as the paintings that inspired it.”—Emma Donoghue, author of Room

Paris, 1927. In the heady years before the crash, financiers drape their mistresses in Chanel, while expatriates flock to the avant-garde bookshop Shakespeare and Company. One day in July, a young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a coolly dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka.

Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist, a dispossessed Saint Petersburg aristocrat with a murky past. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara's most iconic Jazz Age images, among them her most accomplished-and coveted-works of art. A season as the painter's muse teaches Rafaela some hard lessons: Tamara is a cocktail of raw hunger and glittering artifice. And all the while, their romantic idyll is threatened by history's darkening tide.

Inspired by real events in de Lempicka's history, The Last Nude is a tour de force of historical imagination. Ellis Avery gives the reader a tantalizing window into a lost Paris, an age already vanishing as the inexorable forces of history close in on two tangled lives. Spellbinding and provocative, this is a novel about genius and craft, love and desire, regret and, most of all, hope that can transcend time and circumstance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101554180
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2012
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 357,916
File size: 425 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ellis Avery’s first novel, The Teahouse Fire, set in the tea ceremony world of nineteenth-century Japan, has been translated into five languages and has won three awards, including the American Library Association Stonewall Award. Avery is also the author of The Smoke Week, an award-winning 9/11 memoir. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

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The Last Nude 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ErikAnestad More than 1 year ago
I am a great admirer of her art. It was fascinating to read about the person in some of de Lempicka's most fampus paintings.
Elsie_Brooks More than 1 year ago
The Last Nude is another example of taking a good story and stretching it to a novel. The story begins as Raphaela’s story and it is an enjoyable read. Ellis Avery lures the reader into Raphaela’s life and creates empathy for the character. The book was difficult to put down through the first chapters, then, in explicably Avery changes the novel to Tamara’s story. With the shift the book was no longer compelling. In fact, it became quite difficult to continue reading as not only was Tamara an unlikeable character, but, Avery’s writing style seemed to slip as well.
CMaiorisi More than 1 year ago
I enjoy The Last Nude immensely. Both the main characters were well-drawn and the combination of the art/art scene, and the coming out/love story drew me right in and kept me riveted through the book. I wish it had been longer. The only minor disappointment was the switch in point of view in the last chapter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of dialogue and drama. Not just the history of a painter whom I have come to admire, but more the exciting adventures of a nineteen year old Italian-American castoff. Entertaining, raw, and unashamed of the human flesh. Not your mother's book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Biggest waste of time and money invested in a book in years. Wish I wouldve paid attention to others negative comments on this one.
BubblesDeux More than 1 year ago
And I was not disappointed. Ms. Avery brought the art and beauty of Paris alive, while balancing out that dreamy image with a reality of a young woman struggling to make her way. I did enjoy the first half of the book much more than the second half, but that being said, I was ecstatic to have a chance to read this book as soon as it came out. And, what better place to do it than Paris where I could almost imagine the exact scenes taking place.
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Come on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and kept my attention up to and including the very last page. While none of the characters were appealing (a bit on the sleazy side, questionable morals, etc.), I nevertheless found myself interested in their thinking and doing. If you are a reader who doesn't have to love the people about whom you are reading, then you will find this a very interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even moreso, that there is no closure for Tamara. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paris in the Twenties comes alive in this beatiful novel.