Post
Becky Huff Hunter
May 1, 2014

Alena, the third novel by ICA's Editor-at-Large Rachel Pastan receives critical acclaim

Miranda: Alena cover (Rachel Pastan)

Every two weeks, novelist Rachel Pastan weaves her observations of life here at the Institute of Contemporary Art into a new post on our popular, behind-the-scenes blog, Miranda.

Now, Pastan’s experience at ICA has inspired a larger project: her latest novel Alena, which is set in a (very different and very fictional) contemporary art museum on the North East coast.

Here’s just a sprinkling of the praise that Alena has garnered:

Alena is often a brilliant takedown of the self-serious art world, rendering it helplessly camp by sprinkling some of its august and/or provocative names…The New York Times

Pastan’s ingenuity is evident in her treatment of the Nauk. A modernist building made of glass and steel, it’s the antithesis to Manderley (Maxim de Winter’s estate in Rebecca) and its dark, dank corridors, great chimneys, and secret passages. While the exterior is transparent, clean, and efficient, however, the Nauk is as dark and twisted as du Maurier’s Gothic mansion.
Philadelphia Inquirer

We’re devouring Rachel Pastan’s spellbinding Alena, a modern reimagining of Daphne du Maurier’s classic mystery, Rebecca.
Harper’s Bazaar

Read more about Alena.

Discover what life is like at ICA by reading Miranda.

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