Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trailer Park Tuesday: The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

The trailer for B. A. Shapiro’s novel, The Muralist, is a straightforward one: nothing too fancy or flashy, just a succinct narration by the author detailing how she came to write this new book (her previous book, The Art Forger, came out in 2012). But in cases like this, when there’s a fascinating story to be told, we don’t need an artsy-fartsy trailer to engage us. Shapiro’s story-behind-the-story is attention-getting all on its own: “When I sat down to write The Muralist, I knew I wanted to write about two things: art and the Depression. When you combine these two things, you come up with Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the WPA.” Shapiro goes on to tell us about how several famous painters came out of the Works Project Administration artists branch: Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko among them. When the U.S. entered World War Two, the program was scrapped. “The WPA had paintings and sculptures and nothing to do with them,” Shapiro explains. “So they took them, put them in boxes, and left them on the street as trash.” When she heard about this, Shapiro’s fiction-writer radar went on full alert and she knew she had the start of a novel. You’ll have to watch the trailer to see how Shapiro weaves art, war and politics into the tapestry of her novel. And then, after you’ve seen the video, you'll want to read The Muralist to scrape off the layers of paint to uncover the mystery behind one painter’s disappearance. The novel, published by Algonquin Books, officially hits bookstores, libraries and e-readers on November 3.

1 comment:

  1. I've read other Shapiro books and have enjoyed them immensely. This book is no exception. With Shapiro books I learned something about art and in this case it was abstract impressionism. Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock and Eleanor Roosevelt were characters in the book. Real people in a a fictional setting is always a bonus.