Self-Portrait with Boy
On Sale: March 12, 2019
Trade Size / e-Book (reprint)
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“Fabulously written, this spellbinding debut novel is a
real page-turner. A powerful, brilliantly imagined story”
(Library Journal, starred review) about an ambitious
young artist whose accidental photograph of a boy falling to
his death could jumpstart her career, but devastate her most
Lu Rile is a relentlessly focused young photographer
struggling to make ends meet. Working three jobs,
responsible for her aging father, and worrying that her
crumbling loft apartment is being sold to developers, she is
at a point of desperation. One day, in the background of a
self-portrait, Lu accidentally captures an image of a boy
falling to his death. The photograph turns out to be
startlingly gorgeous, the best work of art she’s ever made.
It’s an image that could change her life…if she lets it.
But the decision to show the photograph is not easy. The boy
is her neighbors’ son, and the tragedy brings all the
building’s residents together. It especially unites Lu with
the boy’s beautiful grieving mother, Kate. As the two forge
an intense bond based on sympathy, loneliness, and budding
attraction, Lu feels increasingly unsettled and guilty, torn
between equally fierce desires: to advance her career, and
to protect a woman she has come to love.
Set in early 90s Brooklyn on the brink of gentrification,
Self-Portrait with Boy is a “sparkling debut” (The
New York Times Book Review) about the emotional dues
that must be paid on the road to success and a powerful
exploration of the complex terrain of female friendship.
“The conflict is rich and thorny, raising questions about
art and morality, love and betrayal, sacrifice and
opportunism, and the chance moments that can define a
life…It wrestles with the nature of art, but moves with the
speed of a page-turner” (Los Angeles Times).
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