Eve Laing, once the muse of an infamous painter, is now — forty years later — an artist herself. But she has sacrificed her career for her family and she resents the global success of her old college roommate, a celebrity of the conceptual art scene. When Eve embarks on her most ambitious work yet, she takes a wrecking ball to her comfortable life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover, a drifter half her age, who seems to share her single-minded creative vision.
Nightshade charts Eve’s nocturnal walk through London, from her former family home in the west of the city back to her studio, a converted factory in the east, where her recently completed masterpiece hangs and a fatal reckoning awaits.
This brilliant and timely novel explores sexual politics and the excesses of the contemporary art world, asking if the true artist must relinquish the ordinary human need for love and connection. Can the creative urge be the most destructive — even deadliest — impulse of all?
Available now from Harvill Secker and in August 2020 from Alfred A. Knopf, and Knopf Canada
27 March 2020 - ''A Biting Portrait of the Artist as a "Difficult" Woman' — Harriet Fitch Little, Financial Times
21 March 2020 - 'Portrait of the Artist as a Troubled Woman' - Joanna Briscoe - The Guardian
29 March 2020 - 'Annalena McAfee on How She and Ian McEwan Work from Home' - The Telegraph
15 March 2020 - 'Interview: Annalena McAfee: "I enjoyed writing this really rather unpleasant character"' - Alex Preston - The Observer