The Art Fair: A Novel

Open Road Media
4
Free sample

A poignant and painfully funny novel about the New York art world by the acclaimed author of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

For two first-class years, Joan Freeley had it all: the perfect family, the best art dealer in Manhattan, and the admiration of famous friends. Her adoring husband and two handsome sons attended her first gallery show in matching khakis and blue blazers. “An Interesting Talent Makes Its Debut,” declared the New York Times. Then, as if her success were nothing more than a booking error, Joan’s life got downgraded. A brutal divorce led to paintings too bitter to sell and a career stuck firmly in coach.
 
Unable to see her suffer alone any longer, Joan’s teenage son Richard leaves his father and older brother in Los Angeles and moves in to her one-bedroom apartment in SoHo. At the gallery openings where she used to be a star, Richard discovers just how much his mother’s light has dimmed. She is an artist who is not showing—she might as well be invisible. To acknowledge her is to acknowledge the thin line between success and failure in a world as superficial as it is intoxicating.
 
Richard immediately devotes himself to returning his mother to her former glory. Everything about him—the clothes he wears, the jokes he makes, the college he attends—is calculated to boost Joan’s reputation. But as the years go by and the galleries keep sending back her slides, Richard has to ask: Who wants Joan Freeley’s resurrection more—him or her? And when will his own life start? 
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About the author

David Lipsky’s books have been Time magazine and NPR Best Books of the Year as well as New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. He has received the National Magazine Award and the GLAAD Media Award, and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Magazine Writing and The Best American Short Stories. Lipsky is the author of 5 books, including Three Thousand Dollars, The Art FairAbsolutely American, and Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. In 2015, the latter became a motion picture directed by James Ponsoldt, starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Lipsky currently teaches at New York University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 26, 2014
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Pages
275
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ISBN
9781497663312
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This chronicle of daily life at the US Military Academy is “a fascinating, funny and tremendously well written account of life on the Long Gray Line” (Time).
 
In 1998, West Point made an unprecedented offer to Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky: Stay at the Academy as long as you like, go wherever you wish, talk to whomever you want, to discover why some of America’s most promising young people sacrifice so much to become cadets. Lipsky followed one cadet class into mess halls, barracks, classrooms, bars, and training exercises, from arrival through graduation. By telling their stories, he also examines the Academy as a reflection of our society: Are its principles of equality, patriotism, and honor quaint anachronisms or is it still, as Theodore Roosevelt called it, the most “absolutely American” institution?
 
During an eventful four years in West Point’s history, Lipsky witnesses the arrival of TVs and phones in dorm rooms, the end of hazing, and innumerable other shifts in policy and practice. He uncovers previously unreported scandals and poignantly evokes the aftermath of September 11, when cadets must prepare to become officers in wartime.
 
Lipsky also meets some extraordinary people: a former Eagle Scout who struggles with every facet of the program, from classwork to marching; a foul-mouthed party animal who hates the military and came to West Point to play football; a farm-raised kid who seems to be the perfect soldier, despite his affection for the early work of Georgia O’Keeffe; and an exquisitely turned-out female cadet who aspires to “a career in hair and nails” after the Army.
 
The result is, in the words of David Brooks in the New York Times Book Review, “a superb description of modern military culture, and one of the most gripping accounts of university life I have read. . . . How teenagers get turned into leaders is not a simple story, but it is wonderfully told in this book.”
 
When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“Jane Hawk is arguably the best character Koontz has created.”—Associated Press

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”
 
She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now. As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)
THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING JANE HAWK SERIES
 
Meet Jane Hawk—a remarkable new heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. “This gripping thriller grabs readers from the first few pages and sweeps them along to the rousing finale.”—Booklist

“I very much need to be dead.”

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.

People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.

But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

Praise for The Silent Corner

“Gripping . . . The paranoia and mystery increase as the story unfolds. . . . Koontz has created [a] wonderful character in Jane Hawk. . . . Koontz rocks it again.”—Associated Press
 
“In this era of stingy text-message prose, Mr. Koontz is practically Shakespeare. . . . The Silent Corner brims with both action and emotion.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“The Silent Corner is vintage Dean Koontz: paranoia-fueled suspense . . . sleek and highly realized action, developed characters, and more twists and turns than any two ordinary novels combined. . . . As relevant to current events as it is audacious . . . amongst Dean Koontz’s finest contemporary work.”—Mystery Scene
 
“A proven specialist in action scenes, Koontz pulls off some doozies here. . . . The book is full of neat touches. . . . And the prose, as always in a Koontz novel, is first-rate. Perhaps Koontz’s leanest, meanest thriller, this initial entry in a new series introduces a smart, appealing heroine who can outthink as well as outshoot the baddest of bad dudes.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Eleven sparkling stories of family, love, and art from New York Times–bestselling author David Lipsky

My mother doesn’t know that I owe my father three thousand dollars.
 
From the opening line of the acclaimed title story—a Best American Short Stories selection that first appeared in the New Yorker—to the tender last scene of “Springs, 1977,” this pitch-perfect collection explores the unsteady terrain of early adulthood and the complex legacy of family. Self-aware, creatively ambitious, and just privileged enough to be acutely aware of all that they lack, Lipsky’s characters are as real and unforgettable as the dilemmas they face—some of their own making, some that the world has thrust on them.
 
In “Relativity,” a college junior transfers to the Ivy League in order to please his mother and make new friends; he quickly realizes the fault in his logic. In “Colonists,” a nervous young author searches for her muse at a New Hampshire writers’ retreat attended by a priest who pens erotic poetry and a composer working on a comic opera about the Alger Hiss trial. “ ‘Shh,’ ” the genesis of Lipsky’s highly praised novel The Art Fair, is the story of a dutiful son trying to shield his artist mother from the agony of her latest rejection.
 
Witty, heartbreaking, and wise, the stories in Three Thousand Dollars are a testament to David Lipsky’s exceptional talent and to the power of short fiction to transform the smallest of moments into the greatest of truths. 
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING JASON SEGAL AND JESSE EISENBERG, DIRECTED BY JAMES PONSOLDT

An indelible portrait of David Foster Wallace, by turns funny and inspiring, based on a five-day trip with award-winning writer David Lipsky during Wallace’s Infinite Jest tour
 
In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the ’90s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.”

Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.

A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace.

"If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves.  To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself.  And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that.  I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it.  I know that sounds a little pious."
—David Foster Wallace
This chronicle of daily life at the US Military Academy is “a fascinating, funny and tremendously well written account of life on the Long Gray Line” (Time).
 
In 1998, West Point made an unprecedented offer to Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky: Stay at the Academy as long as you like, go wherever you wish, talk to whomever you want, to discover why some of America’s most promising young people sacrifice so much to become cadets. Lipsky followed one cadet class into mess halls, barracks, classrooms, bars, and training exercises, from arrival through graduation. By telling their stories, he also examines the Academy as a reflection of our society: Are its principles of equality, patriotism, and honor quaint anachronisms or is it still, as Theodore Roosevelt called it, the most “absolutely American” institution?
 
During an eventful four years in West Point’s history, Lipsky witnesses the arrival of TVs and phones in dorm rooms, the end of hazing, and innumerable other shifts in policy and practice. He uncovers previously unreported scandals and poignantly evokes the aftermath of September 11, when cadets must prepare to become officers in wartime.
 
Lipsky also meets some extraordinary people: a former Eagle Scout who struggles with every facet of the program, from classwork to marching; a foul-mouthed party animal who hates the military and came to West Point to play football; a farm-raised kid who seems to be the perfect soldier, despite his affection for the early work of Georgia O’Keeffe; and an exquisitely turned-out female cadet who aspires to “a career in hair and nails” after the Army.
 
The result is, in the words of David Brooks in the New York Times Book Review, “a superb description of modern military culture, and one of the most gripping accounts of university life I have read. . . . How teenagers get turned into leaders is not a simple story, but it is wonderfully told in this book.”
 
Eleven sparkling stories of family, love, and art from New York Times–bestselling author David Lipsky

My mother doesn’t know that I owe my father three thousand dollars.
 
From the opening line of the acclaimed title story—a Best American Short Stories selection that first appeared in the New Yorker—to the tender last scene of “Springs, 1977,” this pitch-perfect collection explores the unsteady terrain of early adulthood and the complex legacy of family. Self-aware, creatively ambitious, and just privileged enough to be acutely aware of all that they lack, Lipsky’s characters are as real and unforgettable as the dilemmas they face—some of their own making, some that the world has thrust on them.
 
In “Relativity,” a college junior transfers to the Ivy League in order to please his mother and make new friends; he quickly realizes the fault in his logic. In “Colonists,” a nervous young author searches for her muse at a New Hampshire writers’ retreat attended by a priest who pens erotic poetry and a composer working on a comic opera about the Alger Hiss trial. “ ‘Shh,’ ” the genesis of Lipsky’s highly praised novel The Art Fair, is the story of a dutiful son trying to shield his artist mother from the agony of her latest rejection.
 
Witty, heartbreaking, and wise, the stories in Three Thousand Dollars are a testament to David Lipsky’s exceptional talent and to the power of short fiction to transform the smallest of moments into the greatest of truths. 
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