Born in 1948, Jonathan Harr has worked as a journalist, a writer, and an instructor at Smith College. He is best known for his first book, A Civil Action, which was later made into a popular-release film. Published in 1995, A Civil Action garnered several book awards including the National Book Critics' Circle Award for nonfiction.
The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece, published in 2005, is his second book. Like A Civil Action, it is engrossing narrative nonfiction at its best. Harr's The Lost Painting traces the actual search for a missing Baroque painting and turns it into an exciting narrative on art detection and intrigue in the art world. The true-life characters and the storyline of this book will take you through the dusty archives of an Italian villa, across the sea to a Jesuit residence in Ireland, and into the art restoration laboratories of the British National Gallery as the hunt for a long-lost Caravaggio treasure becomes a thrilling story in itself.