Sirens and Muses
January 1, 2022  /  368 pages  (is this book fiction or nonfiction?)
Four artists are drawn into a web of rivalry and desire at an elite art school and on the streets of New York in this magnificent debut for fans of Writers & Lovers and The Goldfinch.

"Some debut novels are beautiful, some are funny, some are emotionally satisfying, and some are rich in plot twists and vividly original characters. Sirens & Muses checks all the boxes."--Julie Schumacher, author of The Shakespeare Requirement


It's 2011: America is in a deep recession and Occupy Wall Street is escalating. But at the elite Wrynn College of Art, students paint and sculpt in a rarified bubble. Louisa Arceneaux is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn as a scholarship student, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa's unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina Piontek, the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can't shake her fascination with Preston Utley, a senior and anti-capitalist Internet provocateur, who is publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Berger--a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain relevance.

When Preston concocts an explosive hoax, the fates of all four artists are upended as each is unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat New York art world. Now, all must struggle to find new identities in art, in society, and amongst each other. In the process, they must either find their most authentic terms of life--of success, failure, and joy--or risk losing themselves altogether.

With a canny, critical eye, Sirens & Muses upends notions of class, money, art, youth, and a generation's fight to own their future.
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