The Paris Muse

Paris, 1936. When Dora Maar, a talented French photographer, painter and poet, is introduced to Pablo Picasso, she is mesmerized by his dark and intense stare. Drawn to his volcanic creativity, it isn’t long before she embarks on a passionate relationship with the Spanish artist that sometimes includes sadism and masochism, and ultimately pushes her to the edge.

The Paris Muse is the fictionalized retelling of this disturbing love story, as we follow Dora on her journey of self-discovery and expression. Set in Paris and the French Riviera, where Dora and Pablo spent their holidays with their glamorous artist friends, it provides a fascinating insight into how Picasso was a genius who side-stepped the rules in his human relationships as he did in his art. Much to Dora’s torment, he refused to divorce his wife and conducted affairs with Dora’s friends. The Spanish Civil War made him depressed and violent, an angst that culminated in his acclaimed painting ‘Guernica’, which Dora documented as he painted.

As the encroaching darkness suffocates their relationship – a darkness that escalates once the Second World War begins and the Nazis invade the country – Dora has a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized.

Atmospheric, intense and moving, The Paris Muse is an astonishing read that ensures that this talented, often overlooked woman who gave her life to Picasso is no longer a footnote.

Praise & Reviews

This astonishing story about love and betrayal, creativity and genius is destined to become a classic among biographical novels. — Maggie Brookes, author of The Prisoner’s Wife

An unforgettable novel, beautifully written. This is a powerful, absorbing read about a woman who was a talented artist in her own right. — Gill Paul, internationally bestselling author of A Beautiful Rival

An accomplished literary novel, and also an absolute page turner. Raw sexual charisma and its descent into toxic cruelty which is set – and artfully echoed – in times of peace and war. — Essie Fox, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Fascination

An absolute jewel of a novel, profound, graceful and deeply compassionate. — Annabel Abbs, author of the international bestseller The Language of Food