Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE LAST NUDE wins 2013 Stonewall Book Award!

Congratulations to Ellis Avery and her novel THE LAST NUDE for winning a 2013 Stonewall Book Award! THE LAST NUDE received this year's award for fiction, the Barbara Gittings Literature Award.

The Stonewall Book Awards were announced this week at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington. Sponsored by the ALA's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, the Stonewall Book Awards honor titles of “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.” The award tradition began in 1971, when the honor was merely a grassroots acknowledgement, called the Gay Book Award, presented to one book a year. Now, a Stonewall Book Award is presented to a work of literature, nonfiction, and children's/young adult literature every year, with honor books also chosen for each category. You can learn more about the history of the award on the ALA website here, and view the other 2013 winners here.

As a Stonewall Book Award recipient, Avery will receive a cash stipend and commemorative plaque, which will be presented to her at the ALA's Annual Conference this summer.

THE LAST NUDE was published by Riverhead in January 2012. Based on a true story, the novel chronicles the life of Rafaela Fano, a young American demimondaine who comes to Paris to escape an arranged marriage. When she meets Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka, Tamara encourages Rafaela to model for her and Rafaela agrees. And so begins a relationship that spawned some of the Jazz Age's most iconic paintings (which you can view in our previous post here). In her novel, Avery weaves historical details into a “dark, sexy romp” (Kirkus), an “evocative, heart-cutting” story (Library Journal) of passion, sexual obsession, treachery, and tragedy. 

THE LAST NUDE received praise from More Magazine, O Magazine, Library Journal (starred review), Booklist (starred review), Kirkus, SF Weekly, and many more. A review from The Arts Fuse, which was picked up by The New York Sun, noted, “This contemplation of art, and its believable transformation into character, makes THE LAST NUDE the delight that it is. Avery takes what little is known about the historical Rafaela and turns her into a flesh-and-blood woman who at times is more dimensional than the artificial creature into which Tamara has styled herself.” View a round-up of some of THE LAST NUDE's wonderful reviews in our previous post here.

THE LAST NUDE was also recently named to the 2013 Over the Rainbow Project Book List (sponsored by the ALA's GLBT Round Table). While 84 titles comprise the list, THE LAST NUDE is included among the round table's Top Ten Favorites!

You can learn more about THE LAST NUDE on Avery's website here or in our previous posts here.

Ellis Avery


  1. THE LAST NUDE is a stunning piece of literature. I'm so happy for Ellis - she deserves continued success for this very special book.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Debra. We completely agree!