The Last Nude


Ellis Avery's second novel, THE LAST NUDE-- inspired by the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and the young woman who sat for her most famous painting, Beautiful Rafaela-- came out January 5th, 2012, from Riverhead Books and on audiobook from Highbridge Audio. A paperback edition has since been released, a Polish edition is available from Bukowy Las, and a Romanian edition is forthcoming. You can find The Last Nude on Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or best of all, at your local independent bookstore.

Praise for The Last Nude from The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, SF Weekly, Vogue, and O: The Oprah Magazine, and NPR! Starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal! Read more here!

"The Last Nude is a fascinating exploration of the stormy relationship between painter Tamara de Lempicka and her muse Rafaela."
--Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

[The Last Nude is] "as erotic and powerful as the paintings that inspired it."
--Emma Donoghue, author of Room.

Read Emma Donoghue's interview with Ellis Avery about The Last Nude on

"A sly, sleekly written stereograph of art, desire and desperation in Paris in the '20s, The Last Nude brings Rafaela to electric life, much as Tamara de Lempicka did when she painted her."
--Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh

I only met Tamara de Lempicka because I needed a hundred francs. This was sixteen years ago. I had just learned that if I had a black dress with a white collar, I could take over my flatemate's department store job. In 1927, you could get a bed or a bicycle for three hundred francs; one hundred was a fair price to pay for a ready-made dress, but I didn't have it.

--first paragraph of The Last Nude

"The Last Nude carries us through one of the most fascinating and turbulent periods in modern art, and into the minds and bodies of two of art history's most riveting heroines. With prose and imagery that are both lyrical and unabashedly sensual, Ellis Avery breathes life and depth into famed artist's muse Rafaela, tracing her rocky but thrilling path from lost girl to Lost Generation icon, and laying bare acts of love, desire and betrayal with all the assuredness of a master artist herself."
--Jennifer Epstein, author of The Painter from Shanghai

"Ellis Avery transports the reader on a fast-paced magic carpet ride to Paris between the World Wars, a time when artists, patrons, and models fused the business of sex and art, with deeply painful results."
--Aaron Hamburger, author of Faith for Beginners

"The Last Nude is a remarkable novel: at once a seductive evocation of Lost Generation Paris, a faithful literary rendering of Tamara de Lempicka's idiosyncratic and groundbreaking art, and a vibrant, intelligent, affecting story in its own right. It's also smoking hot."
--Emily Barton, author of Brookland

The American Girls Art Club in Paris has created a literary tour of places in Paris mentioned in The Last Nude.

Author and editor Beatrice Colin ran an outtake from The Last Nude in Algebra Magazine this past spring.

Please click here to go to the official website for Tamara de Lempicka.

cover: The Dream (1927) by Tamara de Lempicka
The young woman in this painting also modeled for
Tamara de Lempicka's 1927 Beautiful Rafaela.
She is the narrator of The Last Nude.



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© Ellis Avery 2006
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