Alyson Richman

THE VELVET HOURS (September 6th, 2016)    

Alyson Richman, The Velvet HoursRichman recreates the story of the elusive 19th-century courtesan, Marthe de Florian, and the mystery surrounding her treasure-filled Belle Epoque era Paris home.  Discovered in 2010, it was untouched for 70 years. Richman explores the life of the courtesan who navigated French society with a unique freedom and independence.  The novel focuses on Marthe’s own monumental love story and her impact on her granddaughter. Though they only have a year together, Solange finds her courage and strength which she will need as Paris teeters on the edge of Occupation and Solange falls in love with a young Jewish rare book dealer.  Richman explores the passions and creative lives of the two women in exquisite and evocative prose. 

The true-life story of the abandoned apartment has mystified art lovers and historians, as de Florian’s granddaughter financially maintained the apartment for over half a century though never set foot in the home after Marthe’s death.  A portrait of de Florian but famed Italian portrait painter Boldini fetched close to 3 million dollars at auction.  

Rights: Berkley, North America;  Cappelen Damm, Norway; Xander, Holland; Penn, Israel

THE GARDEN OF LETTERS (September 2nd, 2014)

Portofino, Italy, 1943. A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she’s never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.

Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussolini’s Fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives.

In Portofino, young doctor Angelo Rosselli gives the frightened and exhausted girl sanctuary. He is a man with painful secrets of his own, haunted by guilt and remorse. But Elodie’s arrival has the power to awaken a sense of hope and joy that Angelo thought was lost to him forever.

Rights: Berkley, North America; Cappelen Damm, Norway;  Heyne, Germany; Penn, Israel; Xander, the Netherlands; Piemme, Italy; Euromedia, Czechoslovakia; Matica, Macedonia

 

THE LOST WIFE (2011)

In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there’s an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.

Rights: Berkley, World English; Hodder, UK; Cappelen Damm, Norway; Xander, Holland; Civilizaçao, Portugal; Piemme, Italy; Euromedia, Czech; City Editions, France; Mono&Manjana D.O.O., Serbia; Proszynski, Poland; Penn Publishing, Israel; Editora Bertrand Brasil, Portuguese; Planeta Mexico, Spanish 

Film: Optioned by Waxylu Films with Jeff Waxman attached to direct

THE LAST VAN GOGH (2006)

Summer, 1890. Van Gogh arrives at Auvers-sur-Oise, a bucolic French village that lures city artists to the country. It is here that twenty-year-old Maurguerite Gachet has grown up, attending to her father and brother ever since her mother’s death. And it is here that Vincent Van Gogh will spend his last summer, under the care of Doctor Gachet – homeopathic doctor, dilettante painter, and collector. In these last days of his life, Van Gogh will create over 70 paintings, two of them portraits of Marguerite Gachet. But little does he know that, while capturing Marguerite and her garden on canvas, he will also capture her heart.Both a love story and historical novel, The Last Van Gogh recreates the final months of Vincent’s life–and the tragic relationship between a young girl brimming with hope and an artist teetering on despair.

Rights: Berkley, North America; Lindhardt & Ringhof, Denmark; Luitingh-Sijthoff, Holland; Artbooks, Korea; Minerva Publishing, Finland; Allers magazine (serialized), Norway; Bukowy Las, Poland; Cappelen Damm, Norway

THE RHYTHM OF MEMORY (2012, formerly SWEDISH TANGO)

Rights: Atria, North America; Lindhardt & Ringhof, Denmark; Luitingh-Sijthof, Holland; dtv, Germany; Tammi/Helmi, Finland; Pegasus, Turkey

THE MASK CARVER’S SON (2000)

Rights: Bloomsbury, North America; Allen & Unwin, Australia; dtv, Germany; Luitingh-Sijthoff, Holland; Lindhardt & Ringhof, Denmark; Hermes, Bulgaria