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Extended Audio Sample The Anatomy Lesson: A Novel, by Nina Siegal Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nina Siegal Narrator: Nina Siegal, A Full Cast Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Commissioned by a prominent Amsterdam medical guild, The Anatomical Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp was one of Rembrandt’s first paintings to gain public notice. The novel opens on the morning of the medical dissection, and, as they prepare for that evening’s big event, it follows several characters: a one-handed coat thief called Aris the Kid, who is awaiting his turn at the gallows; the twenty-six-year-old Dutch master himself, who feels a shade uneasy about this assignment; Jan Fetchet, a curio collector who also moonlights as an acquirer of medical cadavers; Flora, the woman pregnant with Aris’ child, who hopes to collect her lover’s body for a Christian burial before it’s too late; René Descartes, who attended the dissection in the course of his quest to understand where the human soul resides; and Pia, a contemporary art historian who is examining the painting in the future. As the story builds to its dramatic and inevitable conclusion, the events that transpire throughout the day sway Rembrandt to change his initial composition in a fundamental way. Bringing to life the vivid world of Amsterdam in 1632, The Anatomy Lesson offers a rich slice of history and a textured story by a masterful young writer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliantly structured, wonderfully evocative, filled with vivid characters, The Anatomy Lesson transports the reader to that day in 1632 when the coat thief Aris Kindt passed from life to death and from death, thanks first to Rembrandt and now Nina Siegal, into immortality. A dazzling debut.”

    Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author

  • A literary page-turner that captures a story behind a masterpiece, [Siegal's] talent is in exploring the wrenching emotion of loss and the price that's paid for trying to understand human life. Oprah.com, Book of the Week
  • Siegal succeeds in the task she has set for herselfto transmute her material into a work of art. The New Yorker
  • Virtually every sentence is drenched in the atmosphere of 17th-century Amsterdam. We feel as if we are walking at Rembrandt’s side, in a cell awaiting the execution of a thief, rushing through the streets with the condemned’s lover in hopes of saving him. This is a novel to be absorbed for its rich evocation of a single day when one man died and another rose to fame for his art. Historical Novel Society
  • Once in a rare while, you get to read a story of such breathtaking beauty and intelligence that you remember why you love to read. The Anatomy Lesson is just such a novel. In stunning prose, Nina Siegal animates Rembrandt’s first masterpiece, spinning a deeply affecting tale of love, loss and redemption as she reveals the secrets of the human soul. It is a gorgeous literary page turner of immense sympathy and elegance, equal in artistic élan to its inspiration. Brava! Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter and I Always Loved You
  • Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp  is a narrative in paint which tells a story of Amsterdam in its Golden Age. Now, Nina Siegal's lovely novel dissects the dissection, evocatively translating the painted narrative into words, bringing a grim tableau to life and reanimating a moment in history when art, science, life, and death converged. Russell Shorto, author of Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City
  • Brilliantly structured, wonderfully evocative, filled with vivid characters, The Anatomy Lesson transports the reader to that day in 1632 when the coat thief Aris Kindt passed from life to death and from death, thanks first to Rembrandt and now Nina Siegal, into immortality. A dazzling debut. Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
  • "Siegal takes one fascinating work of art and transmutes it into another. Abigail Dalton, Everyday eBook 
  • A thought-provoking and richly populated novel by a talented new voice. Jeanette Zwart, Shelf Awareness 
  • Siegal’s fascinating narrative conveys the pomp, graft, bustle and rough justice of 17th-century Holland through a multitude of voices. The New York Times Book Review
  • Splendid...Through masterful use of subtle details, embroidered into beautiful writing, Siegal suggests that art and violence often intertwine. Publishers Weekly
  • “Siegal alternates between the perspectives of her characters to create a literary page-turner that captures a story behind a masterpiece, but her talent is in exploring the wrenching emotion of loss and the price that’s paid for trying to understand human life.”

    Oprah.com, Book of the Week

  • “Splendid…Through masterful use of subtle details, embroidered into beautiful writing, Siegal suggests that art and violence often intertwine.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rich in historical detail about the day-to-day life and philosophical debates of  seventeenth-century Amsterdam, this is an intriguing read.”

    Library Journal

  • Nominated for the 2015 Audie Award for Best Multivoiced Performance
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