Culture Buff

Dominic Smith

3 August 2019

9:00 AM

3 August 2019

9:00 AM

He’s an Australian-born international best-selling author. Dominic Smith was born in Brisbane in 1971 to an Australian mother and an American father. Brought up in Sydney and the Blue Mountains as one of four children, his parents separated when he was eight. A scholarship to study in the United States, initially in liberal arts, then anthropology and creative writing, saw him graduate from the University of Texas. He now lives in Seattle with his wife and two daughters. Notably, he has published five novels between 2006 and now. His 2018 novel, The Last Painting of Sarah de Vos ( Allen & Unwin) was his major break-through success, selling a phenomenal 250,000 copies globally so far, including 80,000 in Australia. That novel was about a female Dutch painter from the Golden Age whose masterpiece is forged by an Art History graduate.

Dominic Smith draws rich inspiration from apparently arcane historical situations. His first published novel in 2006, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, dealt with the inventor of modern photography who, driven insane from working with mercury, thought the world was coming to an end . Smith’s latest novel, just published, The Electric Hotel is again concerned with the visual, this time silent movies. His 85 year-old protagonist, Claude Ballard, a star of silent movies, now in 1962 is living in the run-down Knickerbocker Hotel with suitcases full of his old nitrate reels which could spontaneously combust. This book will probably also catch fire.

Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free


Show comments
Close