Nina Siegal has been a regular freelance contributor for The New York Times since 2012. Based in Amsterdam, she covers museums, exhibitions, art restoration and attribution issues, art world discoveries and legal cases, profiles of conductors, filmmakers, dancers and other cultural figures, and culture in a socio-political context. An occasional general-news reporter, she has also written about migration issues, emerging political parties and legal cases in the Netherlands.
Siegal began reporting for The Times in 1997 as a stringer for the San Francisco bureau, and worked for The Times' "The City" section in New York from 1998 to 2000, covering Harlem and The Bronx. After that, she spent four years as the cultural news and art market reporter for Bloomberg News in New York.
Siegal was born in New York City, graduated with a BA in English Literature from Cornell University and received her MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In addition to The Times, her freelance writing has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, W. Magazine, Art in America, 1stDibs.com, ArtNews, Sotheby's Magazine, The Progressive, and the Holland Herald. She was the launching editor of Time Out Amsterdam, managing editor of Flow Magazine International, and a founding creative editor of See All This, a Dutch art magazine.
Nina has written two novels: THE ANATOMY LESSON (Nan A. Talese/Knopf Doubleday, 2014) and A LITTLE TROUBLE WITH THE FACTS (HarperCollins, 2008). For her fiction, she has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing, two MacDowell Colony fellowships, and the post-graduate Jack Leggett Fellowship from Iowa. Her first novel was top finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship.
"A literary page-turner that captures a story behind a masterpiece. [Siegal's] talent is in exploring the wrenching emotion of loss and the price that's paid for trying to understand human life."
– Oprah Book of the Week, Editor's Pick
"Siegal succeeds in the task she has set for herself – to transmute her material into a work of art."
–The New Yorker
"Siegal’s fascinating narrative conveys the pomp, graft, bustle and rough justice of 17th-century Holland through a multitude of voices."
– The New York Times Book Review
"Siegal sets her splendid, gory second novel in 1632 in Amsterdam, where a thief's execution occasions a celebration, evoking "bloodlust" throughout the city on "Justice Day." ...Through masterful use of subtle details, embroidered into beautiful writing, Siegal suggests that art and violence often intertwine." Publishers Weekly
"Virtually every sentence is drenched in the atmosphere of 17th-century Amsterdam. We feel as if we are walking at Rembrandt’s side, in a cell awaiting the execution of a thief, rushing through the streets with the condemned’s lover in hopes of saving him. This is a novel to be absorbed for its rich evocation of a single day when one man died and another rose to fame for his art... Brilliant." Historical Novel Society, Editor's Choice
"Siegal takes one fascinating work of art and transmutes it into another." Abigail Dalton, "If You Loved The Goldfinch: The Anatomy Lesson," on Everyday E Book.
"A thought-provoking and richly populated novel by a talented new voice." Jeanette Zwart, Shelf Awareness
"Once in a rare while, you get to read a story of such breathtaking beauty and intelligence that you remember why you love to read. The Anatomy Lesson is just such a novel. In stunning prose, Nina Siegal animates Rembrandt’s first masterpiece, spinning a deeply affecting tale of love, loss and redemption as she reveals the secrets of the human soul. It is a gorgeous literary page turner of immense sympathy and elegance, equal in artistic élan to its inspiration. Brava!" — Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter and I Always Loved You
"Rembrandt's 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp' is a narrative in paint which tells a story of Amsterdam in its Golden Age. Now, Nina Siegal's lovely novel dissects the dissection, evocatively translating the painted narrative into words, bringing a grim tableau to life and reanimating a moment in history when art, science, life, and death converged."
—Russell Shorto, author of Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City
"Brilliantly structured, wonderfully evocative, filled with vivid characters, The Anatomy Lesson transports the reader to that day in 1632 when the coat thief Aris Kindt passed from life to death and from death, thanks first to Rembrandt and now Nina Siegal, into immortality."
— Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
THE ANATOMY LESSON (a novel) is published by Nan A. Talese/Knopf Doubleday in 2014. It will also be available in Dutch, Polish and Portuguese.
THE ANATOMY LESSON is currently available in hardcover (deckle edged), paperback and digital edition. The audio book was a finalist for the 2015 Audie Awards from the Audible Publishers Association in the category of multiple-voice performance.
BUYING OPTIONS: Support your local bookshop! THE ANATOMY LESSON is sold at most major bookshops and lots of independent bookshops. If you don't see it on the shelves, please ask for it or order it from your local bookshop. Help keep friendly local retailers thriving.
A LITTLE TROUBLE WITH THE FACTS was published in 2008 by HarperCollins. It was translated in to French (Marabout, Paris) and Dutch (Truth&Dare, Amsterdam) and is available as an audio book and a Kindle edition. It was the top finalist for the James Jones First Novel Award in 2008.
“WHAT YOU’LL LOVE: Siegal’s talent for nailing the details that illuminate an era -- from the mid-’80s art boom to the late ‘90s social swirl -- makes for a transporting read.” —Washington Post
“Siegal blends glamour and gutter into a delicious cocktail, equal parts behind-the-scenes dish and crime novel.” —Publishers Weekly
“Witty…Nina Siegal gets it right.” —Page Six, New York Post
“An absorbing tale. Siegal is a delightful writer.” —Associated Press
“A great read.” —Quick and Simple Magazine
“Siegal has subtly rejuvinated the (noir) genre.” —Brooklyn Rail Magazine
Great Debuts of 2008: “A combination of chick lit and crime fiction, this book transcends those genres with its sassy, witty prose and urban art-based plot.” —Rocky Mountain News