Suite for Barbara Loden


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Dorothy a Publishing Project
Publish Date
5.5 X 6.8 X 0.5 inches | 0.35 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Nathalie Léger is the award-winning author of Suite for Barbara Loden and The White Dress, as well as an editor and archivist. She has curated exhibitions on Roland Barthes and Samuel Beckett for the Centre Pompidou, and is Director of the Institut Mémoires de l'Édition Contemporaine, an organization dedicated to preserving the archives of modern French writers. Natasha Lehrer is an award-winning writer and literary translator. She has written features and book reviews for a variety of newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Observer. Cécile Menon is a translator between French and English and the founder of the London-based publisher Les Fugitives.


"I hope this book inspires a new hybrid form of film criticism, where private excavation is also cooperative creativity."--Brad Johnson, Diesel Books (The Literary Hub "Great Bookseller Fall 2016 Preview")
"Beautifully translated."--TLS
"A moving, subtle novel about the need to create."--Le Monde
"[A] mesmerizing work of unexpected beauty."--Book Riot
"Inventive and affecting, it takes both the novel and the biography to new and interesting places."--Eimear McBride
"Brilliant little book."--Valeria Luiselli
"Here, now, is a remarkable new book that does everything--biography, criticism, film history, memoir, and even fiction, all at once, all out in front...In her combination of the conversational and the incantatory, the fragmentary and the infinite, Léger captures something of [Marguerite] Duras's own tones and moods, yet her approach to Loden and her appreciation of 'Wanda' are entirely her own."--The New Yorker
"Assigned to write the entry about Wanda (1970), Barbara Loden's art-house movie, for a film encyclopedia, Léger let herself get lost. The result gracefully melds criticism, fiction, and autobiography, and is a powerful example of how summary, channeled through the most personal of perspectives, can be a form of art."--Harper's Magazine
"When I set out to review Suite for Barbara Loden, I realized I didn't have much to say, exactly, beyond what Léger says. I wanted to show how she shows how one woman's experience is filtered through another, collapses into another. And I wanted to show how we (women) connect with Wanda--even extraordinary, glamorous, intellectual women like Léger or Loden, and even women generations younger than Wanda, like myself--how the book sucks in every woman who approaches it."--The Rumpus
"What is initially Léger's explicit hesitance to create a biography that does not do Loden justice is transformed into her own story, one of how the lives of women seep into one another."--Los Angeles Review of Books
"[A] beautiful and intimate mixed portrait of Loden, Wanda, and Léger."--Small Press Book Review
"Moving descriptions of Loden's performance in Wanda dot the narration as Léger struggles to reveal joy or pain Loden may have hidden, beyond her early work as a pin-up girl, her marriage to Elia Kazan, and a 1964 Tony Award for her role in Arthur Miller's After the Fall. Translators Lehrer and Menon give Léger's voice immense verve in English as her small task becomes an obsession."--Kirkus Reviews
"I am not a movie buff--in fact, I rarely watch movies, especially the 'important' ones--but I realize I love reading descriptions of film scenes. There's a kind of inert vividness to these descriptions, a scrim between me and the dramatic moment, that I find almost erotic. Léger intersperses descriptions of Wanda with passages about how she came to know this movie, how she tried and tried to understand Barbara Loden herself. Woven into these, too, are autobiographical asides. One begins: 'Once upon a time the man I loved reproached me for my apparent passivity with other men.' The result of these combined fragments is delicious and mysterious."--Edan Lepucki, "My Year in Reading," The Millions
"Léger jump-cuts through time and space with the expertise of a movie director."--Joanna Walsh, author of Vertigo
"In Suite for Barbara Loden, Léger enacts a kind of double excavation in her desire 'to excavate a miniature model of modernity' that is Barbara Loden, an unearthing that has no teleological endpoint because it continues beyond the scope of the text being written. This excavation, indeed, must engage with the many texts that inform it, shaping the journey and, in effect, refracting the writing subject back on to herself--a fantasmatic act of the other becoming the self."--Music & Literature