exposed, jean-philippe blondel
French publisher: LIBELLA
US publisher: NEW VESSEL PRESS
Translated by Alison Anderson
A French teacher on the verge of retirement is invited to a glittering opening that showcases the artwork of his former student, who has since become a celebrated painter. This unexpected encounter leads to the older man posing for his portrait. Possibly in the nude. Such personal exposure at close range entails a strange and troubling pact between artist and sitter that prompts both to reevaluate their lives. Blondel, author of the hugely popular novel The 6:41 to Paris, evokes an intimacy of dangerous intensity in a tale marked by profound nostalgia and a reckoning with the past that allows its two characters to move ahead into the future.
“Captivating … The novel flies by with gentle humor, but it also poses complex questions about the meaning of art and sexuality, and offers an elegiac look at late middle age … Irresistible, and the story’s fundamental kindness sets it apart.”
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)