From Award-winning author Stephen Maitland-Lewis' new novel blends magical realism and Nazi plundering of European art
by Stephen Maitland-Lewis
Category: Adult fiction, 265 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Glyd-Evans Press
Published: August 2014
Available in: Print and e-book formats
Will send books: Internationally
Tour dates: Nov 17 to Dec 5, 2014
Content Rating: PG
Book Synopsis:Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history—the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece. His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.
Praise for Botticelli's Bastard:
“Stephen Maitland-Lewis’ latest book, Botticelli’s Bastard, is beautifully written and, to its further credit, impossible to categorize. Part thriller, part intriguing mystery, this book is compulsive reading. Above all, it is a first class novel.”
-Sir Ronald Harwood, Playwright and Oscar® winning and Oscar® nominated writer of THE PIANIST, THE DRESSER, and THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY. Former President of PEN International and current President of The Royal Literary Fund
"My interest in collecting important art came together with my love of thrillers. Stephen Maitland-Lewis' Botticelli's Bastard is a great read."
-Arnold Kopelson, Oscar® and Golden Globe® acclaimed producer of PLATOON and numerous award-winning films including THE FUGITIVE
"If Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde collaborated on an uplifting novel it would have been Botticelli's Bastard. Maitland-Lewis beats them to the punch. A marvelous, soulful tale."
-Stephen Jay Schwartz, L.A. Times Bestselling Author of BOULEVARD and BEAT
Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He held senior positions in the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991. He owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also the Director of Marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a Board Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. A member of PEN and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival.
His novel Hero on Three Continents received numerous accolades, and Emeralds Never Fade won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction. His novel Ambition was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards and 2014 International Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Maitland-Lewis and his wife, Joni Berry, divide their time between their homes in Beverly Hills and New Orleans.
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I am often asked at book signing events where I write. Many non-writers believe that for an author, location is crucial for inspiration. People seem to think that gazing out of a window onto a beautiful landscape, or a view of the ocean, is the tonic a writer needs in order to have the creative juices flow. My thinking is totally the opposite. The distractions of magnificent views would take my focus from the page before me to an environment so far removed from what I am writing that it would be manifestly unhelpful.The Ideal Working Environment
I choose to write in a simple office, barely furnished and only occasionally with low-volume unobtrusive background music. Jane Austen wrote on a side table, not much larger than a tea tray, but there again, it was an era that was pre-typewriters and computers; W. Somerset Maugham, notwithstanding his palatial residence on the French Riviera, chose to write in a windowless room with one chair and a refectory table; Neil Simon writes on a desk in a windowless passageway on the top floor of his New York townhouse. If I were to travel to parts of the world I do not know, the temptation to sightsee and be a tourist would take me away from my writing, and I would have the dilemma of choosing whether to be guilty about neglecting my writing or neglecting sightseeing of places that every tourist should see. Who could go to Paris and not visit The Louvre or London and not see the Tower?
I am in awe of writers such as D.H. Lawrence, who wrote from his homes in Nottinghamshire, Croydon, Metz, the Gulf of Spezia, London, Oxfordshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Garda, Sardinia, Australia, Taos New Mexico, Florence, and Vandol in France. The packing and unpacking alone would fill me with nausea, and the time spent in settling in, and adjusting to a new working environment would be something I would not be able to handle.
Another impediment to constantly being on the move would be one’s choice of working tools. Clearly there would be no problem if one were writing in pen on a pad, but unless one were very high-tech, computers can go wrong. It is not always easy to find technical support in remote places on the planet. Likewise, electric typewriters do not necessarily work on every continent, due to differences in electrical infrastructure.
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