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Paris Red

A Novel

Maureen Gibbon


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (4/11/2016)
Compact Disc (4/4/2019)
MP3 CD (9/1/2015)


For readers of Girl with a Pearl Earring, a luminous and evocative novel of Édouard Manet’s muse.

Paris, 1862. A young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious and wealthy artist Édouard Manet. The encounter will change her—and the art world—forever.

At seventeen, Victorine Meurent abandons her old life to become immersed in the Parisian society of dance halls and cafés, meeting writers and artists like Baudelaire and Alfred Stevens. As Manet’s model, Victorine explores a world of new possibilities and stirs the artist to push the boundaries of painting in his infamous portrait Olympia, which scandalizes even the most cosmopolitan city.

Manet becomes himself because of Victorine. But who does she become, that figure on the divan?

Intense, erotic, and beautifully wrought, Paris Red evokes the unconventional love story of a painter and his muse that changed the history of art.

Praise For Paris Red: A Novel

Wonderful… [Gibbon] takes readers on a mesmerizing, erotic journey not only to another time and place, but inside the mind of an artist… an insightful and riveting account.
— Publishers Weekly

You’ll be caught up in the rich and sensuous world that Gibbon’s weaves right from the beginning.
— Jennifer Davis and Claire Stern - InStyle

Very few writers, living or dead, can convey the progress, pains, and pleasures of the sensual life as fully, vividly, and unapologetically as Maureen Gibbon.
— Amy Grace Loyd, author of The Affairs of Others

Maureen Gibbon’s Paris Red is a novel to fill your senses: beautiful, brilliant, delicious, full of taste and sight and heart. It is a very Paris of a novel.

— Elizabeth McCracken, author of Thunderstruck and Other Stories

Maureen Gibbon’s Victorine is a fearless working girl with sharp wits and calloused hands who ‘wants and wants’ and follows that wanting right out of one life and into another. You will feel her losses and her triumphs as though they were your own—and the next time you look at Manet’s Olympia she will look right back at you.
— Alyssa Harad, author of Coming to My Senses

No one evokes the raw, confusing desire of young women with crappy jobs, threadbare clothes, and a lusty eye better than Maureen Gibbon does, and with Paris Red she has distilled and bottled it: every sentence is fragrant with passion.

— Maud Newton, author of America’s Ancestry Craze

Paris Red is a rare treasure: a powerfully written novel with a sensual, fierce, intelligent heroine. Gibbon’s language is muscular and precise and gorgeous, and she evokes a Paris so viscerally real, I could taste the potato soup, smell the smoke and paint, and feel Victorine inhabiting her own skin as she discovers her powers. What an amazing book.

— Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special and The Astral

In Paris Red, Maureen Gibbon brings to life a Paris charged with erotic immediacy and honesty. The novel illuminates the transformative nature of art and is engrossing with sensual details. Amazing.

— Cara Black, author of Murder Below Montparnasse

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393244465, 288pp.

Publication Date: April 20, 2015

About the Author

Maureen Gibbon is the author of Paris Red, Thief, and Swimming Sweet Arrow. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Literary Hub, Playboy, and other publications. Gibbon resides in northern Minnesota.

Book Videos

Coverage from NPR