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Tiepolo Blue
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About the Author

James Cahill has worked in the art world and academia for fifteen years, combining writing with a role at a leading contemporary gallery. His debut novel, Tiepolo Blue, was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, and his writing has been published in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Daily Telegraph, among others. James divides his time between London and Los Angeles.

Reviews

Evocative and accurate . . . meticulous and atmospheric . . . delicious unease and pervasive threat give this assured first novel great singularity and a kind of gothic edge . . . an electric new novel written by an author skilled in the evocation of vertiginous, heightened emotion
*Guardian*

This divine debut from art critic and academic James Cahill is the smart, sexy read you need . . . Not only an addictive pageturner, Cahill's book taps into the tensions and suspicions between generations that feels incredibly relevant for our testy times
*Evening Standard*

Already a compelling psychosexual story about beauty, desire and art, Tiepolo Blue is all the more interesting because it hits notes of such strangeness
*Prospect*

One of the standout debut novels is James Cahill's Tiepolo Blue, a coming-of-age tale set in London in the 1990s that deftly explores what it is like to suffer a very public fall from grace
*Independent*

Art, academia and abject self-denial combine in this startlingly impressive, 1990s-set debut . . . A heavily perfumed, sexually tender, psychologically acute novel . . . as full of light and colour as Tiepolo's incandescent skies
*Daily Mail*

Arresting . . . a masterly attention to (especially visual) detail and an irresistibly propulsive, almost swaggering style . . . Cahill is by no means a polemical author, and the novel is all the better for it. Any authorial commentary is barely detectable above the crowd of vivid characters with which Cahill has populated his novel, for Tiepolo Blue is, at its heart, an astute character study
*Literary Review*

What starts off as a campus novel soon shades into something weirder and much more mesmerizing . . . The plot is propulsive, though the crafted ambience of unease simultaneously destabilizes the reader at every turn. The prose is fluid and precise but the tone equivocal, bathos merging into pathos, tragedy into farce and back again . . . It's a measure of Cahill's sleight of hand that he manages to inject his plot with such page-turning momentum
*Times Literary Supplement*

Tiepolo Blue is about a buttoned-up art historian in Cambridge in 1994 who messes up and gets a job managing a London gallery just as the Young British Artists enter their glory. One of them initiates his unbuttoning which is dizzying and exciting and unsettling, and beautifully told
*Daily Mail*

A novel that combines formal elegance with gripping storytelling . . . wildly enjoyable . . . The combination of arty milieu and sexual stirrings may evoke Alan Hollinghurst, but Iris Murdoch is a more obvious point of comparison . . . Snobbish and incompetent, Don may be difficult to like, but his painful awakening is delicately rendered
*Financial Times*

An ambitious novel about the wonders of art and the depths of the human heart, full of people and ideas
*The Times*

With touches of Alan Hollinghurst, the musings of the book's protagonist on the radical power of art to act as a catalyst for personal change make it an exhilarating, erudite read
*Vogue*

Interrogating beauty and meaning in art, Tiepolo Blue rewards rereading. Pointing to masked, tricksy identities, clues glitter gem-like amid hallucinatory prose . . . a stylish tale of love and long-game revenge
*Royal Academy Magazine*

An absorbing coming-of-age story
*The Art Newspaper*

Bringing together the Italian masters and the Young British Artists, this is a debut that looks at art, power, academia, and the potential of the urban setting at the end of the 20th century
*Dazed.com*

Simmering
*Esquire*

Most giddying are the passages that evoke the slow-mo slide of Don's professional collapse . . . I shivered with awful delight
*The Critic*

The worlds of art, academia and queerness collide in James Cahill's debut
*i-D*

The story of Tiepolo Blue and its people have invaded my dreams . . . something in the way Cahill puts the reader in Don Lamb's shoes does (or has done in my case) extraordinary things. I blushed and howled warnings and wanted to slap, cajole, hug, disown, disavow and walk away from him. His life will look so squalid and pathetic from the outside, but Cahill takes us inside and we somehow respect and love him. This is the best novel I have read for ages. It is so beautifully written, not a false note in any sentence. Cahill's presentation of the agonising clash of aesthetics, of culture, of generations . . . it's just masterly. Don's disintegration is painful to read, but it all grips you like a thriller. My heart was constantly in my throat as I read . . . There is so much to enjoy, to contemplate, to wonder at, and to be lost in
*Stephen Fry*

Imagine if Hollinghurst and Murdoch collaborated on a witty update of Death in Venice and you'll see the appeal of James Cahill's assured debut
*Patrick Gale, author of MOTHER'S BOY*

The spirit of E. M. Forster is alive and well in James Cahill. The same palpating of damaged moral tissue, the same psychological canniness, the same gently invoked erudition, the same exactitude and eloquence - except Cahill is able to explore forbidden themes that Forster feared to touch on except posthumously
*Edmund White*

This is a novel full of suspense and surprise. It made me laugh and brought back memories of a time in my own life. I missed the characters as soon as I'd finished
*Sarah Lucas*

I travelled on the exquisite vessel of James Cahill's prose, unable to disembark. The journey is sensual, treacherous and elegiac. The final landing, breath-taking
*Maggi Hambling*

Wow. It is magnificent. Simply magnificent . . . Tiepolo Blue really has blown me away: the gorgeous phrase-making; the sure-footed pacing; the (re-)immersion in a world I know, or knew, in a way that is both hard-edged with historical detail and almost hallucinatory . . . The last debut novel I read that had this much talent buzzing around inside it was Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming-Pool Library
*Robert Douglas-Fairhurst*

James Cahill's first novel, drawn from close observation, tells a gripping tale of the worlds of traditional academia and art history pitted against those of contemporary art, each failing horribly to understand the other. As a result all becomes infused with satirical comedy and ghastly tragedy
*Norman Rosenthal, former Exhibitions Secretary at the Royal Academy*

I just devoured Tiepolo Blue, I could not put it down. The longing, the beauty, the detail, the complexity, the art, the intellect and the emotion . . . What a triumph!
*Paul Kindersley*

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