Nominated by:

National Library of Australia, Canberra

LINC Tasmania, Australia

State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Allen & Unwin, Australia

The Museum of Modern Love

Heather Rose    

2018 Longlist

‘Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.’

She watched as the final hours of The Artist is Present passed by, sitter after sitter in a gaze with the woman across the table. Jane felt she had witnessed a thing of inexplicable beauty among humans who had been drawn to this art and had found the reflection of a great mystery. What are we? How should we live?

Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.

This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.

About the author

The Museum of Modern Love is Heather Rose’s 7th novel. Her novels span adult literary fiction, children’s literature, fantasy/sci-fi and crime. Heather’s previous novels are White Heart (1999), The Butterfly Man (2005) and The River Wife (2009). Heather also writes the acclaimed Tuesday McGillycuddy series for children (written under the pen-name of Angelica Banks with fellow-author Danielle Wood and published internationally). The series is Finding Serendipity (2013) A Week Without Tuesday (2015) and Blueberry Pancakes Forever (2016). Heather won the Davitt Award in 2006 and her work has been shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Award and the Aurealis Awards, and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award. She is also a recipient of the international Eleanor Dark Fellowship.

Heather was the inaugural Writer in Residence at The Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA) in Hobart 2012-13 where she did much of the research for The Museum of Modern Love.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

Heather Rose’s seventh novel tells the story of Arky Levin, who, separated from his wife, finds solace in the unfolding performance art of Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present, a work exhibiting for seventy-five days in New York’s MoMA. As the narrative unfolds, the author skilfully expresses the intent of the art and the emotion of it, echoing the experience of the way art can move you sometimes inexplicably. Winner of the 2017 Stella prize, the judges said that “it is rare to encounter a novel with such powerful characterisation, such a deep understanding of the consequences of personal and natural history, such affection for a city and the people who are drawn to it and such dazzling and subltly explorations of the importance of art in everyday life”.

An unusual subject, beautifully written , creating a compelling drama.

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