It’s 1955, at a party in a lush Roman palazzo. A wealthy American art collector has invited all the expat socialites — plus one of the great painters of modern art, Bear Bavinsky, a brawny, beardy charmer known for his wildly colored (and wildly sexualized) canvases. As Bear regales everyone with tales of his rivals such as Picasso and Pollock, another guest is observing from afar: his wife, Natalie, a superb artist but overlooked. For comfort, she clutches the hand of their son, Pinch, who is 5. This novel is itself a portrait — not depicting the life of the great Bear, nor of Natalie, but of their son, Pinch, who grows up longing to equal his father’s greatness, is sometimes elevated by his old man, sometimes crushed. Until one day, Pinch begins an astonishing plan that’ll change art history forever…This is a tantalizing glimpse into the new must-read novel, The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Tom talks spiritedly about his intriguing book, but with his artful storyteller’s skill, he never reveals the crucial plot twist of his entertaining, heartbreaking novel about art, family, loyalty, and authenticity. The conversation between Tom and Life Elsewhere host, Norman B is all the more fascinating because of how they delve into the story and the characters. Makes sure you do not miss an exceptional interview with Tom Rachman, an enormously talented writer, and listen carefully to see if you can decipher the plot twist, he avoids disclosing.
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