The infamous literary hoax that fooled the art world
On January 8 1960, artist Nat Tate set out to burn his entire life's work. Four days later he jumped off a Staten Island ferry, killing himself. His body was never found.
When William Boyd published his biography of Abstract Expressionist Nat Tate, tributes poured in from a whole host of artists and critics in the New York art world. They toasted the troubled genius in a Manhattan launch party attended by David Bowie and Gore Vidal.
But Nat Tate never existed. The book was a hoax.
Will Boyd's biography of a fake artist is a brilliant probe into the politics of authenticity and reputation in the modern art scene. It is a playful and intelligent insight into the fascinating, often cryptic world of modern art.
William Boyd has probably written more classic books than any of his contemporaries
A finely judged performance: a deft and resonant alchemy of fact and fiction, of literary myth and imagination
One of Britain's most celebrated contemporary novelists
From otter-spotting in Scotland to monsoons in Kolkata, here Ali Smith, William Boyd and nine other Penguin authors share their favourite holiday reading memories.
Described by Sebastian Faulks as ‘the finest storyteller of his generation’, William Boyd details the secret to keeping readers hooked for over four decades as he speaks to Caroline Sanderson about his life as an author.