I recently redid my website. In the last moments of finishing the design, I decided I wanted to add a line of text to my home page. At first I thought of saying, “When an artist meets his muse,” but when I typed it, something didn’t feel right to me. I’ve written before about how […]

I have a secret. Ever since I received the advance copies of Paris Red last month, I’ve been carrying one with me everywhere I go. I don’t mean that I show it to everyone (though I have shared it with friends), I just mean that I always have a copy in my bag. I guess […]

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 […]

W. W. Norton sent me the jacket image for Paris Red a while ago, but I saved writing about it until now. I know that things sometimes change while a book is in production, and I didn’t want to be hasty about posting the image. But l’ve loved the jacket design from the start. The […]

I’ve written before about the importance of green boots in my novel Paris Red. Victorine Meurent wears green leather boots, and they are part of her identity. Today I want to talk about Manet’s fascination with yellow gloves, and how that fascination came to play a role in my novel. Even though the figures in […]

Last week I wrote about how Marville’s old photographs of Paris allowed me to enter Victorine’s world. I needed that gift from the past, the history provided by Marville. But the flow goes both ways: there are some things of mine, from the present, that I gave to Victorine. It’s what novelists do:  we give pieces […]

I don’t know if I would have been able to write the story of Victorine Meurent without the work of another artist—and I don’t just mean Manet, the man who painted her over and over. I mean that without the photos of Charles Marville, or Charles François Bossu, I would have had much more difficulty imagining […]