The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink 225 pages

From the author of The Reader, comes another novel about a complex and mysterious woman.  Irene has three men in love with her.  Gundlach, her wealthy husband has commissioned a painting of her nude descending a staircase,  Schwind, the soon to be famous artist who authored the painting and becomes Irene’s lover, and the nameless narrator, a young lawyer who has been brought in to settle a dispute between Irene’s husband and lover.  The painting and Irene soon disappear, but the work of art surfaces many years later in a gallery.  Each of the three men track down Irene, and meet again on a remote Australian island.

The Woman on the Stairs is more than a love “rectangle.”  It is a novel about the ownership of art, how the past shapes the present and the future, and life lived avoiding emotional relationships.

 

 

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The Woman on the Stairs by Bernhard Schlink 225 pages

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