The Underpainter is a novel of interwoven lives in which the world of art collides with the realm of human emotion. It is the story of Austin Fraser, an American painter now in his later years, who is haunted by memories of those whose lives most deeply touched his own, including a young Canadian soldier and china painter and the beautiful model who becomes Austin's mistress. Spanning decades, the setting moves from upstate New York to the northern shores of two Great Lakes; from France in World War One to New York City in the '20s and '30s.
Brilliantly depicting landscape and the geography of the imagination, The Underpainter is Jane Urquhart's most accomplished novel to date.
Jane Urquhart is the author of six novels including Away (1993), The Stone Carvers (2001) and A Map of Glass (2005), as well as a collection of short fiction and four volumes of poetry. She has written a biography of L.M. Montgomery and is the editor of the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. She lives in Ontario and spends part of the year in Ireland.