Deirdre Madden

“Gorgeous… A tragic beauty brimming with depth and humanity.”—Time Out Chicago

“Madden fashions her characters as though painting the smallest details of a still life…[and] does a superb job in conveying the solitude of making art.”—Booklist

About the Book

"A pitch-perfect depiction of the reality of the artistic life."—The Observer (London)
"Excuse me?" She glanced back over her shoulder. He was looking at her with an expression of utter desolation, such as one rarely saw, an expression that literally stopped her in her tracks.

When painter Roderic Kennedy meets Julia Fitzpatrick, twenty years younger and also an artist, it seems as though his string of bad behavior—rampant alcoholism, uncontrolled rage, and a broken marriage—has come to an end. But when Julia has a chance meeting with a desperately unhappy stranger, this brief yet powerful encounter sets in motion a chain of events that has dramatic consequences for all three.

Set in Ireland, Authenticity is a mesmerizing exploration of living the creative life as well as the cost of neglecting it. With a seamless tapestry of voices in various forms—self-reflection, memory, conversations—Madden offers a remarkable and moving novel that reaches from the bottom of the soul to the moment of inspiration.

Additional Reviews

“Madden’s prose is clear and rich, her similes stunningly apt. She is also a master of characterization and description. Reminiscent of Albert Camus’s The Fall and Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady.”—Library Journal