The saga of a surrealist muse, from Montmartre to New York
By Anne and Claire Berest
A “Jules et Jim” style love story set against the background of the Surrealist revolution.
September 1908. 27-year-old Gabriële Buffet – a musician, an free-spirited young woman and a feminist before her time – meets Francis Picabia, a successful young painter with a scandalous reputation. He needed his art to head in a new direction, she is prepared to break with convention: to inspire, theorise and be thought-provoking. She becomes the “woman with the erotic brain” who has men on their knees, including Marcel Duchamp and Guillaume Apollinaire. Moving from Paris to New York, Berlin, Zurich, Barcelona, Étival and Saint-Tropez, Gabriële guides the precursors of abstract art, the futurists, the Dadaists, always at the cutting edge of artistic innovation. This book transports us to the beginning of the Twentieth Century when the codes of beauty and society were reinvented.
Collaborating intimately in both content and writing, Anne et Claire Berest tell the story of their great-grandmother, Gabriële Picabia, the surrealists’ muse.
After, La Fille de son père in 2010, Anne Berest published Les Patriarches (Grasset, 2012), Sagan 1954 (Stock, 2014) and Recherche femme parfaite (Grasset, 2015). She also cowrote the bestseller How to be Parisian wherever you are, which has been translated into 35 languages. Claire Berest published her first novel, Mikado, when she was 27. It was followed by L’orchestre vide and Bellevue (Stock 2016). They are the great-granddaughters of Gabriële Buffet-Picabia. Intrigued by the family taboo surrounding their great-grandparent, they started to research and discovered the stranger-than-fiction life of this incredible woman.
Anne et Claire Berest sont les arrière-petites-filles de Gabriële Buffet-Picabia.