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About the book
  • Published: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241988879
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $19.99
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Nat Tate




The infamous literary hoax that fooled the art world, with a new introduction by William Boyd.

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.

  • Pub date: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241988879
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

William Boyd

William Boyd is the author of one work of non-fiction, three collections of short stories and thirteen novels, including the bestselling historical spy thriller Restless – winner of the Costa Novel of the Year – and Any Human Heart, in which the character of Ian Fleming features. Among his other awards are the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Jean Monnet. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2005, he was awarded the CBE.

Born in Ghana in 1952, William Boyd spent much of his early life in West Africa. He now divides his time between the south-west of France and Chelsea, where he lives a stone’s throw from James Bond’s London address.

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Praise for Nat Tate

“A moving account of an artist too well understood by his time”

Gore Vidal


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