Publication Date: 13/05/2021 ISBN: 9780857059864 Category:

Painting Time

Maylis de Kerangal

Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication Date: 13/05/2021 ISBN: 9780857059864 Category:




“One of contemporary fiction’s most gifted sentence builders” Beejay Silcox, Guardian

Behind the ornate doors of 30, rue du Metal in Brussels, twenty students begin their apprenticeship in the art of decorative painting – that art of tricksters and counterfeiters, where each knot in a plank of wood hides a secret and every vein in a slab of marble tells a story.

Among these students are Kate, Jonas and Paula Karst. Together, during a relentless year of study, they will learn the techniques of reproducing materials in paint, and the intensity of their experience – the long hours in the studio, the late nights, the conversations, arguments, parties, romances – will cement a friendship that lasts long after their formal studies end.

For Paula, her initiation into the art of trompe l’oeil will take her back through time, from her own childhood memories, to the ancient formations of the materials whose depiction she strives to master. And from the institute in Brussels where her studies begin, to her work on the film sets of Cinecitta, and finally the prehistoric caves of Lascaux, her experiences will transcend art, gradually revealing something of her own inner world, and the secret, unreachable desires of her heart.

A coming-of-age novel like no other: an atmospheric and highly aesthetic portrayal of love, art and craftsmanship from the acclaimed author of Birth of a Bridge and Mend the Living.

Translated from the French by Jessica Moore

Publisher Review

Intensely alive, encompassing both the technical and the poetic, emotion and cerebrality -- Raphaelle Leyris * Le Monde * The art of painting in perfect harmony with de Kerangal's writing; visual, flamboyant, assured . . . in perfect alignment with her subject -- Marine Landrot * Telerama * Always brilliant, executed in flowing, lyrical prose that had already reached the firmament in [Mend the Living] . . . De Kerangal finds fiction in reality; precise, technical vocabulary is imbued with rich imagination and meaning. And mastering trompe-l'oeil - isn't that the ideal metaphor for the work of a novelist? -- Frederique Roussel * Liberation *

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible