The Painting On Auerperg's Wall

By Erika Rummel

The Painting On Auerperg's Wall
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The novel revolves around the forced sale of a painting in Nazi-occupied Vienna. Zoltan Nagy, the legitimate heir, is pressured by his daughter to go to court and recoup his parents' possessions. But Zoltan is in love with the present owner of the painting. What if winning the ... Read more


Overview

The novel revolves around the forced sale of a painting in Nazi-occupied Vienna. Zoltan Nagy, the legitimate heir, is pressured by his daughter to go to court and recoup his parents' possessions. But Zoltan is in love with the present owner of the painting. What if winning the court case means losing her? And thereby hangs a tale with several twists and turns: secrets, assumptions and slippery identities are the ingredients the author has used to create a page-turner. Zoltan's daughter, Cereta, claims the painting was sold under duress. But is the work what it appears to be, or is it an expert forgery? And is Cereta the woman she claims to be? Or is her real name Laura? David, an art historian, who falls in love with her, cannot get at the truth. He is caught in a web of illusions and postmodernist doubts. Zoltan holds the key to the puzzle, but he is hard to read. The hardships he suffered in childhood have made him a man of a thousand disguises, a man hiding even from himself. When the dispute over the painting threatens Zoltan's relationship with the people he loves, he realizes that it's time to tell who is who and what is what.

The story of the Nagy family and the disputed painting is told in five parts, narrated respectively by David, Laura/Cereta, Zoltan and Nancy, his lover. It spans the decades from the forties to the new millennium, as we follow Zoltan from Vienna to Budapest and on to Los Angeles. It probes the soul-destroying effects of brutal regimes and the search for the truth in a world that challenges us to tell fact from fiction.

Erika Rummel

Erika Rummel has taught at the University of Toronto and WLU, Waterloo. She has lived in big cities (Los Angeles, Vienna) and small villaes in Argentina, Romania, and Bulgaria. She has written extensively on social history, translated the correspondence of inventor Alfred Nobel, the humanist Erasmus, and the Reformer Wolfgang Capito. She is the author of a number of historical novels, most recently The Road to Gesualdo and The Inquisitor’s Niece, which was judged best historical novel of the year by the Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association. In 2018 the Renaissance Society of America honoured her with a lifetime achievement award. She divides her time between living in Toronto and Santa Monica, California.

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