Ellie is a savvy, street-smart native New Yorker, and as she starts her freshman year at a art college in New England, she’s pretty sure she will find herself at the top of her painting class. After all, she’s been creating dark, brooding canvases for years, full of blood, gore and despair. Her stuff is deep, man. Which is why it comes as a surprise to discover that just because she CAN paint doesn’t mean she does it WELL. Ellie learns some tough life lessons as she navigates her way through her first year, and not only those that come by way of brush and canvas. She finds out a serious secret about her parents, discovers that her hip, hot artist b-friend is actually a cheating asshole, and hardest of all, that painting is about craft and creating, not just emoting. NPR writer, now novelist Frank has written a brilliant send-up of the art school world with a very real, very sincere heroine at its center. IMHO, the best debut novel of 2002.