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  • $19.95

    ISBN: 9781772012835 | Paperback

    240 pages | Pub. Date: 20210321
    5.5 W × 8.5 H × 0.6 D inches
    Frontlist | Fiction | Bisac: FIC019000

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Maylis de Kerangal’s Painting Time plunges readers into the world of Paula Karst, a young woman who discovers a passion for trompe l’oeil painting techniques. After beginning her studies at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels, Paula meets two new lifelong friends – both enigmatic, resourceful, impulsive, and gifted. Together the three weave a complex relationship that mirrors the interconnectedness of their artistic materials. Replicating the grain of wood, the wear of marble, or the protrusion on a tortoiseshell requires method, technique, talent … but also something else. Paula strives to understand what she’s painting, both the “micro” that she is and the complex “macro” of the world and its history.

Paula’s apprenticeship is punctuated by hard work, sleepless nights, sore muscles, and saturnalian evenings. After completing her studies, she continues to practise her art in Paris, in Moscow, and then in Italy at Cinécittà, on the sets of great films – dream factories! – as if rehearsing for her grand finale: Lascaux IV, a life-sized replica of the world’s most famous paleolithic cave art and a zenith of human cultural expression.

In this exquisite and highly aesthetic coming-of-age novel, expertly translated by Jessica Moore, Kerangal mirrors the enchanted materialism of her protagonist’s artistic journey in her rich, lyrical prose.

"In this enthralling tale of vocation, discovery, and love … Kerangal balances the gloriously sensuous with the deeply reflective in an exquisite and omniscient streaming narration … resplendently evocative and exhilarating."

"There is something magnificently true about De Kerangal’s fiction, which braids technical fluency with winged prose … As she has so often done, [she] shows there is poetry to be found in our jargon, and stories embedded in our tools."
—The Guardian

"As she did with The Cook, award-winning French author de Kerangal offers stunning portraiture suffused with the joy and meaning of work."
Library Journal (starred review)

"The book is a joyful testament to the rigours of research, and to the translator's art, too. To have captured the excitement of those rolling, propulsive sentences – to make them more than a cut-and-paste from a thesaurus – is a wonderful achievement on the part of Jessica Moore."
Times Literary Supplement

"It’s very hard to translate the essence of one artistic medium into another. But de Kerangal manages the trick here, following the career of a painter and rendering her search for mastery of a craft in such a way that it reveals the author in full control of her own. Like her earlier novels ... Painting Time doesn’t just use paintings to further a story, or as a pretext for enlivening a bit of history. It’s a novel about the creative process itself."

"[An] excellent translation, pulled off with sensitivity, empathy and … beautiful writing."
The New European

"de Kerangal provides great insight about the alchemy involved in becoming an artist … we get the sense of being nudged toward an understanding of the ‘grace and vacuity that grazes genius.’”
—M.A.C. Farrant, Vancouver Sun

By Maylis de Kerangal

Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French: Je marche sous un ciel de traîne (2000), La vie voyageuse (2003), Corniche Kennedy (2008), and Naissance d’un pont (translated here as Birth of a Bridge, winner of the Franz Hessel Prize and the Médicis Prize in 2010).

Read more about Maylis de Kerangal

Translated by Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is an author and literary translator. Mend the Living, her translation of the novel by Maylis de Kerangal, was nominated for the 2016 Man Booker International and won the UK’s Wellcome Prize in 2017.

Read more about Jessica Moore

news | 2022-03-08
International Women's Day

…Good Thing: A Living Memoir by M.A.C. Farrant. Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal and translated by Jessica …

news | 2021-12-06
Painting Time Makes The Guardian's Best Fiction of 2021 List

…We are pleased to announce that Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal and translated by Jessica … The Guardian‘s Best Fiction of 2021 list. Painting Time plunges readers into the world of Paula Karst, a …

news | 2021-10-27
Maylis de Kerangal Special

…the globe. Kerangal’s most recent book, Painting Time , plunges readers into the world of Paula Karst, … the complex “macro” of the world and its history. Painting Time is now only $15! Mend the Living is the story of … to your cart. Birth of a Bridge Mend the Living Painting Time

news | 2021-02-09
Painting Time Is Hot Off the Presses!

…We are so pleased to welcome Painting Time , by Maylis de Kerengal and translated by Jessica … —Booklist Pick up your copy of Painting Time today! …