Hughes, Robert J.
HUGHES, Robert J.
Worked variously as a reporter for newspapers and magazines. Wall Street Journal, New York, NY, culture and entertainment reporter, mid-1990s—.
Late and Soon (novel), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in New York City, Robert J. Hughes was part of a large family that included eleven children. After college he worked as a reporter and editor for a range of publications, covering such varied topics as travel and the optical industry. He eventually joined the staff of the Wall Street Journal as their culture and entertainment reporter. As part of his job, he covered the auction market, a specialty he put to use in his first novel, Late and Soon. The novel follows Claire, a thirty-something art expert, who works at the famed auction house Sotheby's, as she grapples with a pivotal time in her life. She is in the middle of organizing an important auction that has the potential to advance her career, but she is still recovering from a divorce from a husband who left her for a man. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews enjoyed the book's "many gorgeous, lovingly detailed descriptions of paintings and some very funny and insightful remarks on the people who are selling them," but found fault with the way most of the auction action took place behind the scenes of the story. Joanne Wilkinson, writing for Booklist, remarked that "Hughes brings a near Jamesian complexity to his analysis of Claire's shifting emotions." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt that Hughes "depicts the meeting of art and commerce with an insider's keen eye, and it is this part of the book that fascinates most."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2005, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Late and Soon, p. 22.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of Late and Soon, p. 936.
Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of Late and Soon, p. 30.
Robert Hughes Home page,http://www.robertjhughes.com (July 11, 2006).