Eva Jana Siroka has published a new novel, My Life with Berti Spranger (Jorge Pinto Books, paper, $14.95). A sequel to Maddalena (2005), it centers on the discovery of a lost memoir.
“The memoir is fictionalized,” said Ms. Siroka, who has a PhD in art history from Princeton, “but is rooted in the culture of Rudolfine Prague and Spranger’s patron’s taste for exotica and erotica.” Spranger’s paintings were recently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “I had been carrying his paintings and drawings in my mind for decades. He is such a fascinating character, a court painter who served a cardinal, a pope, and two Holy Roman Emperors, that I knew he’d be a natural narrator for the sequel to Maddalena, given his privileged position at the Rudolfine court.”
According to Midwest Book Review, My Life with Berti Spranger “is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Literary Fiction collection…enthusiastically recommended reading.”
A professional artist with works in North America and Europe, Ms. Siroka is currently preparing two exhibitions in Princeton and Toronto. Inspired by Spranger’s original drawings and period prints, she has illustrated the current book and designed its cover.