Still Lives is a mystery novel set in the Los Angeles art scene, written by someone who worked at MOCA and taught in California and has since (and good for her, one thinks) moved back to Vermont. The book includes really good writing, QUITE a clever mystery plot, and more behind-the-scenes dish on the L.A. museum/art scene than you could see on a thousand tours.
Bear Pond Books will host Maria Hummel for a reading on Tuesday, September 11th, but you get to read her book now, lucky for you.— George
Twelve shocking paintings. Eleven famous murders. One missing artist . . . A Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Selection Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women--the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others--and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women. As the city's richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum's opening night, all the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution's flailing finances. Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala. Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls on the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie's ex. A rogue's gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord's disappearance, she'll come to suspect all of those closest to her. Set against a culture that often fetishizes violence, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world's hall of mirrors, and one woman's journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets. "A stunning achievement"--Los Angeles Times
About the Author
MARIA HUMMEL is also the author of Motherland, a San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year. She has worked and taught at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Stanford University, and the University of Vermont.