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Blue Nude

Blue Nude

A Novel

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  • customer reviews
Once a prominent painter, Danzig now shares his wisdom and technique with students at San Francisco’s Art Institute—yet his own canvases remain empty. When he meets Israeli-born Merav, the beautiful new model for his class, he senses she may reignite his artistic passion. Merav moved to California to escape the danger and violence of the Middle East, yet she cannot outrun her fears about the past. As the characters challenge one another, Rosner lyrically uncovers their disparate upbringings, their creative awakenings, and their similarly painful, often catastrophic, love lives to propel them toward reconciliation, redemption, and ultimately revival.
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  • Pocket Books | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439181317 | 
  • September 2010
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Elizabeth Rosner's BLUE NUDE

Rosner tells the story of a German artist and his Israeli model, the moral implications of their relationship and the lasting impact of the Holocaust.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

BEGIN ANYWHERE, Danzig says. The shoulder, the rib cage, the thigh, the ankle. It won’t be an accident, even if it feels that way right now.

He stands in his classroom at the Art Institute, the students arranged on chairs and stools in a rough circle with their sketchpads and charcoal, all sixteen of them waiting for the model to take the first pose on her platform.

Find a place where your line wants to take a journey, he says. Some curve in any direction, a place where skin meets light, meets shadow. Let your hand tell you. Begin there.

It’s almost the last class of the semester, and he... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Blue Nude includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Elizabeth Rosner. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Elizabeth Rosner’s luminous second novel, Blue Nude, takes modern history’s greatest atrocity and expresses its consequences—and a hope for redemption—in the lives of two people thrown together by accident. Born in the shadow of postwar Germany, Danzig is a once prominent painter, now teaching at an art institute in San Francisco.

Increasingly haunted by his dark inheritance, he finds himself unable to create. When Merav, the Israeli-born granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, becomes Danzig’s muse, both realize they must face the wounds of history that each of them carries. Bringing together the past and present lives of Merav and Danzig, the story moves forward and backward in time and place: from a California art studio to the ruins of Berlin and back again.

In subtle yet profound awakenings, both artist and model begin to transform themselves as well as one another. Blue Nude becomes the literary equivalent of a masterpiece of visual art: elegantly composed, vivid, see more

Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Blue Nude?

A. Please read my essay on the back story for Blue Nude. You can find it here:

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