For readers of Girl with a Pearl Earring, a "beautiful, brilliant, delicious" (Elizabeth McCracken) novel about Edouard 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.
About the Author
Maureen Gibbon is the author of three novels including Paris Red. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Playboy, and elsewhere. She lives in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
An intense and erotic depiction, this novel explores the legacy of artist, muse, and masterpiece.
You’ll be caught up in the rich and sensuous world that Gibbon’s weaves right from the beginning.
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.
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 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
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
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