Suite for Barbara Loden

Author(s): Nathalie Leger


‘Brilliant little book’ – Valeria Luiselli (winner of the 2015 LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for her debut novel, Faces in the Crowd)

‘An extraordinary book. It reads compulsively and is unlike anything else I have read.’ – Selma Dabbagh
‘Immensely readable, extremely thought-provoking and really quite haunting […] And best of all, it achieves that most elusive feat of never reading like a translation.’
– Lydia Syson

‘This beautiful book is striking for its echoes of artists who are either quoted or (never gratuitously) emulated, including Godard, Fred Wiseman, Sebald and Perec.’
La Quinzaine littéraire
‘Beautifully translated’ – David Collard, Times Literary Supplement

A writer commissioned to pen a short entry on Barbara Loden for a cinema encyclopaedia embarks on a trip to America to expand her research. How to paint a life, a personality? Loden’s sketchy biography draws the narrator to Duras, Perec, Godard, Plath, Kate Chopin, Melville, Beckett, Sebald and also a handful of ordinary people, each shedding light on the topic in the making: a singular homage to the 1960s American actress famously married to Hollywood giant Elia Kazan, and to her one and only film, Wanda (1970), hailed a masterpiece of early cinéma vérité – an anti-Bonnie-and-Clyde road movie about a young woman adrift in rust-belt Pennsylvania. As scenes from Wanda punctuate the pages, elements from the narrator’s own life and her mother’s start forming a fragmented mirror image. First published in France to enormous critical and popular acclaim, this is the first book about and inspired by one of the greatest, most unconventional actresses of her time.

‘It is a real gem of a piece of writing. Highly original and very powerful. And so well translated!’ – Jenny McPhee
‘Léger jump-cuts through time and space with the expertise of a movie director’
– Joanna Walsh
‘A moving, subtle novel about the need to create’ –
Le Monde

‘A truly remarkable book. I love Leger's obsessive circling, the connections she draws in and through the Loden/Wanda narrative, some deeply haunting images ...’
– Anna Zalakostas (Green Apple Books, San Francisco)


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780993009303
  • : Les Fugitives
  • : Les Fugitives
  • : February 2015
  • : 120mm X 185mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nathalie Leger
  • : Paperback
  • : 792.028092
  • : 128