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Extended Audio Sample The Last Nude, by Ellis Avery Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,517 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellis Avery Narrator: Thérèse Plummer, Barbara Carus Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Paris, 1927, a day in July. A destitute young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara’s most accomplished and prized works of art, including Beautiful Rafaela, “one of the most important nudes of the twentieth century” (New York Times).

The relationship between the artist and her muse lasted less than a year, yet in 1980, just before Tamara died, she was working on a copy of Beautiful Rafaela. Author Ellis Avery imagines their affair from Rafaela’s point of view, and the final day of Tamara’s life from the painter’s point of view. A window into Jazz Age Paris as the forces of history close in, The Last Nude is a story of genius and craft, art and money, friendship and desire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian General Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Deanna | 2/15/2014

    " The Last Nude is an unconventional love story. It takes place in 1927 Paris and is a story of love, betrayal and regret based on real life artist Tamara de Lempicka. I was a bit dismayed see that the author used the same lost suitcase full of writing that was used in The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for her down of his luck, novelist, Anson. I love the prose and lyrical imagery used by Ellis Avery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dawn Kunda | 2/11/2014

    " A very contemporary agenda set in the 1920's. A graphic description of the relation between an artist on her way to fame and the woman who posed for the artist's most famous portrait. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Helen Albert | 2/8/2014

    " Amazing portrait of the Art Deco artist, Tamara de Lempicka, famously known for her bohemian lifestyle and affairs with both men and women. The story centers around her relationship with her model, Rafaela, who sat for some of Lempicka's most famous nude paintings including the one shown on the cover of the book. I'm always wary of writers who are academics (Avery teaches writing at Columbia U). Their writing is often self-conscious. But Avery does not disappoint. Her writing is fresh, even startling at times. The novel is told in the first person from Rafaela's point of view. Clearly, the balance of power in the relationship is tilted in favor of Lampicka, who is model's senior by more than a decade, world-weary and smart as hell. In this novel, as apparently in life, Lampicka was a great manipulator, double- and triple crossing everyone including poor Rafaela who's desperately in love with her. The scenes of 1920s Paris are wonderfully drawn. The experiences of artist and model are described in such detail, you can practically smell the turpentine and feel the muscle cramps from holding a pose too long. A slow start in the beginning, but this novel is worth your time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Idra | 2/4/2014

    " I don't usually read historical fiction but I'm such a fan of Ellis Avery and this novel rocks. So beautifully written. So fascinating. And subversive in a way I wish more contemporary works of fictions would be. "

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About the Author

Ellis Avery is the author of the novel The Teahouse Fire and the award-winning book The Smoke Week: September 11-21, 2001.