Sometimes I wonder how a person like me came to write a novel about Victorine Meurent and Édouard Manet. I live in a meadow and see more wildlife than I do museums. I wear jeans every day, and belts with big, rhinestone buckles. (See above.) Though I lived in NYC from 1980 – 1987 and […]

As I wrote Paris Red, I had two book talismans: The Lover by Marguerite Duras and Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje. I kept those two books on my desk and sometimes by my pillow. I turned often to Duras to see how she created a young narrator who appeared self-possessed and self-aware, and to […]

Last night I fell asleep reading historian and flâneur Richard Cobb’s Paris and Elsewhere. I woke up the morning with the book still in the sheets. I found out about Richard Cobb in 1988 or so when I checked The Streets of Paris out of the University of Iowa library. The book is a collaboration […]

Olympia, cette fille de nos jours, que vous rencontrez sur les trottoirs et qui serre ses maigres épaules dans un mince châle de laine déteinte.
~ Émile Zola