Diversion Books, 2016
Agent: Jill Marr
The feud began forty years ago. On one side: one of the wealthiest families in America. On the other: an artist known as Qi, heralded as the next Andy Warhol. After an acrimonious falling out, a Cold War began between these two families, and very few people remember the artist at all. Until a piece by Qi appears in New York.
Outside the Fern Gallery, a man stabs himself in the heart while staring at the last Qi, a painting of a young Chinese empress. Paire Anjou, a young art student fresh to the city, stands so close, her dress is freckled with blood. The resurgence of Qi's art stirs up widespread curiosity and attention. Much like Michelangelo's David, the portrait evokes powerful reactions from people. Patrons pass out, write love letters, and try to vandalize it. Since the day she saw it, Paire can't stop ruminating about the painting.
The descendants of both families converge, and Paire, who covets the Empress, is woven into an escalating blood feud. Paire Anjou is herself a descendent of criminal parents with a predilection for theft. And she has decided that she needs to possess the Qi for herself.
"Dolan's intriguing sophomore effort centers on a singular painting and the extraordinary effect it has on viewers...Dolan probes the value and meaning of art while spinning the troubled backstories of Paire and Qi. Paire and Deck's decision to steal The Empress sets the stage for a cataclysmic finale."