The trope of the young male writer roaming through Paris is a well-worn one. Robertson gives us the feminist take in this remarkable semi-autobiographical novel touching on art, philosophy, fashion, and literary theory as tools to look at the underexamined concept of girlhood. The narrative moves back and forth between a middle aged woman and her younger self as she wanders through experiences--both lived and read--that shape her development as a writer. Robertson is a poet and an essayist and she brings those skill to her debut work of fiction. I wanted to applaud every beautifully crafted sentence and stamp my feet with approval at every delightful digression.— From Jason's Picks
The debut novel by acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, in which a poet realizes she's written the works of Baudelaire.
One morning, Hazel Brown awakes in a badly decorated hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. In her bemusement the hotel becomes every cheap room she ever stayed in during her youthful perambulations in 1980s Paris. This is the legend of a she-dandy's life.
Part magical realism, part feminist ars poetica, part history of tailoring, part bibliophilic anthem, part love affair with nineteenth-century painting, The Baudelaire Fractal is poet and art writer Lisa Robertson's first novel.
"Robertson, with feminist wit, a dash of kink, and a generous brain, has written an urtext that tenders there can be, in fact, or in fiction, no such thing. Hers is a boon for readers and writers, now and in the future."--Jennifer Krasinski, Bookforum
"It's brilliant, strange, and unlike anything I've read before."--Rebecca Hussey, BOOKRIOT
About the Author
Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist currently living in France. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe.