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The art of confidence / Wendy Lee.

By: Lee, Wendy, 1976- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, NY : Kensington Books, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Description: 243 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781617734892.Subject(s): Art -- Forgeries -- Fiction | Chinese -- United States -- Fiction | New York (N.Y.) -- FictionDDC classification: 813/.6 Summary: Liu Qingwu doesn't set out to commit a crime. He only wants to sell a painting - something more substantial than the Impressionist knockoffs he flogs to tourists outside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the lucrative commission he receives from a Chelsea art dealer is more complicated than he initially realizes. Liu has been hired to create not an homage to Andrew Cantrell's modernist masterpiece, Elegy, but a forgery that will sell for millions.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

"I suppose I did it because I wanted something to show for the thirty years-longer than I had lived in my homeland-that I had been here in America. Something that was properly appreciated, even if someone else got all the credit."

Liu Qingwu doesn't set out to commit a crime. He only wants to sell a painting-something more substantial than the Impressionist knockoffs he flogs to tourists outside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the lucrative commission he receives from a Chelsea art dealer is more complicated than he initially realizes. Liu has been hired to create not an homage to Andrew Cantrell's modernist masterpiece, Elegy , but a forgery that will sell for millions.

The painting will change the lives of everyone associated with it-Liu, a Chinese immigrant still reeling from his wife's recent departure; Caroline, a gallery owner intent on saving her aunt's legacy; Molly, her perceptive assistant; and Harold, a Taiwanese businessman with an ethical dilemma on his hands. Weaving together their stories with that of Cantrell and the inspiration for his masterpiece, Wendy Lee's intricate, multilayered novel explores the unique fascination of great art and the lengths to which some are driven to create it-and to possess it.

"A novel"--on cover.

Includes a reading group guide.

Liu Qingwu doesn't set out to commit a crime. He only wants to sell a painting - something more substantial than the Impressionist knockoffs he flogs to tourists outside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the lucrative commission he receives from a Chelsea art dealer is more complicated than he initially realizes. Liu has been hired to create not an homage to Andrew Cantrell's modernist masterpiece, Elegy, but a forgery that will sell for millions.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this multiple viewpoint novel, Lee (Across a Green Ocean) weaves a quartet of individuals, Chinese and American, who are linked by their desire to create or possess art. She starts with Liu Qingwu, a middle-aged, undocumented immigrant who has spent the last 30 years as the archetypal starving artist in New York. While coming to terms with his young wife's sudden departure, he is commissioned by a Chelsea art dealer to paint an homage to Andrew Cantrell's Elegy, a modernist masterpiece originally worth millions. His suspicions are aroused by the terms, the verbal contract, and the cash payment, but he moves forward with the work anyway, not just due to his financial straits but also because he believes that his talent has finally been recognized. This sets off a chain of events involving a "new money" Taiwanese businessman looking to make his first art investment and an art history college dropout. VERDICT This well-written mystery ponders the effects of one's decisions in the face of moral quandaries while depicting a lesser-known slice of the New York art world. A captivating read for most fans of popular fiction.-Suzanne Im, Los Angeles P.L. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In her third novel, Lee (Across a Green Ocean) delves into what propels people to do the right or wrong thing and centers the book's unique perspective on the creation of a forged painting. Lee focuses on four vastly different story lines, each revolving around the painting. Artist Liu, living hand to mouth in New York City for 30 years, longing for the wife who left him, and now selling his Impressionist reproductions on the street, grapples with the morality of creating a copy of Elegy, a 1969 painting by Andrew Cantrell, for gallery owner Caroline Lowry. Lowry, who inherited the failing gallery years before from her glamorous aunt Hazel-a doyenne of the art world in her day who had an affair with Cantrell-needs a quick fix to save her business and selling a forged painting seems to be the answer. Her assistant, Molly Schaeffer, daughter of Caroline's best friend, intrigued by the sudden appearance of the Cantrell painting in the gallery, is dealing with her own troubled past. And businessman Harold Yu hopes the purchase of the painting might add joy to his lackluster family life. As the story unfolds from different viewpoints, the author moves back and forth in time, bringing depth and understanding to what motivates people in both their personal and professional lives. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

An ephemeral, atmospheric painting, Elegy, is at the core of Lee's third and most ambitious novel (Happy Family, 2008; Across a Green Ocean, 2015). An unknown, 30-year-sojourning Chinese artist is paid a pittance to recreate a missing canvas. A desperate New York gallery owner sells it for millions to hold onto a dead woman's legacy. A young assistant with her own creative dreams wrestles over the cost of integrity. A wealthy Taiwanese investor loses almost everything, except, perhaps, what's left of his soul. At the very end, a dead man offers the only glimpse of what really happened, which no one else, except the privileged reader, can ever know. Revealed through viewpoints that shift between chapters, this is a sublime examination of what defines art, what gives art value, and the prices, far beyond the monetary, that we're willing to pay to view it, admire it, acquire it, and even let it go. Through fragile alliances, flawed relationships, and capricious loyalties, Lee's characters will lie, distort, betray, and ultimately accede to uneasy truths.--Hong, Terry Copyright 2016 Booklist