A summer book worth reading, even indoors

Can we ever really know all of the truths and mysteries of someone else’s life? Kate Christensen’s latest novel, The Great Man (available 8/16), begins with a New York Times obituary of Oscar Feldman, a fictional New York City painter of the ’40s and ’50s renowned for his nude portraits. It’s only when two biographers compete to research the real story of the man behind the myth that it becomes clear just how little is truly known about him.

But The Great Man is less about Feldman than it is about the women who adored him — his wife, his mistress of 40 years, and his sister — each with her own complicated relationship to the artist. In clean, witty prose, Christensen not only tackles the slippery bonds of love and family but also offers a hilarious glimpse into the avant-garde art world and the egos that fuel it.

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A summer book worth reading, even indoors