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Writer’s first novel about art world mystery


May 3, 2017

A North East author’s debut novel will reveal the truth behind an art world mystery.

Daniel James, 35, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, will release The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas in November this year through Dead Ink Books. A unique combination of fact and fiction, the book tells the story of a journalist searching for the truth about artist Ezra Maas who vanished without a trace more than seven years ago. The author spent five years researching and writing the book, which ambitious independent publishers Dead Ink are describing as a ‘chilling literary labyrinth for the post-truth era’.

Daniel, a Newcastle-based journalist and magazine editor, said: “What happened to Ezra Maas is one of the biggest mysteries of contemporary art, but no one has been able to write a book about him until now due to legal issues with his estate and the intense secrecy of his friends and followers.

“Maas first became famous in the 1960s alongside the likes of Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys, but his rejection of celebrity and refusal to be photographed or interviewed meant very little was known about who he really was or where he came from. In many ways, he was the original Banksy, with a touch of Howard Hughes, and this makes him a very intriguing and compelling character.

“In today’s era of post-truth and fake news, it seemed the perfect timing to uncover the true story of such a mysterious and reclusive figure, but it wasn’t easy – what began life as a biography gradually turned into a surreal detective story before finally becoming something darker, more complex, and genuinely unsettling.”

The novel tells the story of the author’s five-year investigation into the untold story of the artist’s life, but it is no ordinary book. The deeper Daniel looked into the myth of Ezra Maas, the more he was drawn into a world of fractured identities and sinister doubles. Daniel travelled to a number of art galleries, museums, and studios around Europe and America where Maas lived and worked, conducting thousands of hours of interviews with people who claimed to have known him. These interviews will feature in the book in a unique narrative, which combines letters, phone transcripts, emails and newspaper clippings in a hybrid of biography and postmodern noir.

The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas will be available to pre-order from September 2017 from Dead Ink Books: https://deadinkbooks.com/crowdfund/ with a book launch planned for Newcastle in November. The novel is also available from Amazon UK. To find out more about Daniel follow him on Twitter @danjameswriter or go to: www.danieljameswriter.com.

Ambitious independent publishers Dead Ink Books are currently crowdfunding for three new novels. To help Dead Ink publish these books click here. Dead Ink Books are based in Liverpool and funded by Arts Council England. For more information go to: www.deadinkbooks.com

By Emily