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Elizabeth Kostova 'fascinated by how painters see the world'

26th January 2010

Bestselling author Elizabeth Kostova used her own experiences of painting when crafting her latest novel.

The 45-year-old, whose The Historian is the fastest-selling hardback debut in US history, told the Metro that she studied her painter friends' techniques and interviewed them when she was writing The Swan Thieves.

Kostova also revealed that in her teens she used to paint and drew on her memories of the 'smell of the oils and the feel of the brushes' to illustrate the world of the Impressionists in her new novel.

'I wanted to write about a painter as I've always been fascinated by the way they work and how they see the world,' she told the newspaper.

The author added that she sometimes wishes she could write a novel which does not require such in-depth research, but also admitted that it is important to learn something new with each story she crafts.

An Observer review of The Swan Thieves praised the novel's 'intriguing' set-up of a psychiatrist attempting to solve a modern mystery by investigating a patient's relationship with Impressionist paintings.

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