Art forgery

An ill wind in Buenos Aires: Portrait of Unknown Lady, by María Gainza, reviewed

How to review a book that pokes fun at critics? When the protagonist of María Gainza’s Portrait of an Unknown Lady reads reviews, she tends to ‘scan the first five or six lines, skip to the last two or three, and end up thinking, what’s with these people?’ When she becomes an art critic, she takes up the ‘language of the shyster, empty language, language just to occupy column inches’. And you can bet she has readers hanging on her every word – as we do in this story of the quest to find a legendary art forger who one day disappeared. It feels like the Argentine writer is having