Blue Self-Portrait (Paperback)
Transit Books, 9781945492105, 160pp.
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
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April 2018 Indie Next List
“I'm not sure I can prepare you for this book. I thought I knew what I was getting into, and a mere 140 pages later I landed on a different continent altogether. Noemi Lefebvre has produced a riveting story in Blue Self-Portrait, one that investigates the many variations of a thought, of a memory. Our narrator looks at her exchange with a pianist from every possible vantage point, arriving at both confusion and conclusion within the same second. Lefebvre is a master of the sentence, and some of these passages unfurl with all the introspection and music of Marcel Proust. Sophie Lewis' translation is a most welcome import into our canon that will be appreciated for its poetry and its audacity.”
— John Gibbs, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA
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"A probing, wild, and fascinating novel."--Publishers Weekly
On a flight from Berlin to Paris, a woman haunted by composer Arnold Schoenberg's self-portrait reflects on her romantic encounter with a pianist. Obsessive, darkly comic, and full of angst, Blue Self-Portrait unfolds among Berlin's cultural institutions, but is located in the mid-air flux between contrary impulses, with repetitions and variations that explore the possibilities and limitations of art, history, and connection.
About the Author
Noémi Lefebvre was born in 1964 and lives in Lyon. She studied music for over 10 years as a child and later obtained her Ph.D. on the subject of music education and national identity in Germany and France. She became a political scientist at CERAT de Grenoble II Institute. She is the author of three novels, all of which have garnered intense critical success in France.Sophie Lewis is a literary editor and translator from French and Portuguese into English. She has translated Stendhal, Jules Verne, Marcel Aymé, Violette Leduc, Emmanuelle Pagano, and João Gilberto Noll, among others.