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The Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novelby Audrey Niffenegger
Synopses & Reviews
The Three Incestuous Sisters is an evocative, illustrated book by the best-selling author of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger. Reminiscent of the gothic style of Edward Gorey, Niffenegger's visually stunning narrative affirms her genius as a storyteller.
These rich pages present the tale of three very different sisters: one who is beautiful, one who is smart, and one who is talented. A melodrama of sibling rivalry unfurls as one sister is driven mad with jealousy due to the passionate love affair of another. Escalating to a dizzying climax, the romance of the two lovers ends in sabotage, shame, and despair. Haunting illustrations and lyrical prose depict a timeless tale of love, revenge, and ultimately, transcendence.
The Three Incestuous Sisters is a unique and lavish tour de force, which showcases Audrey Niffenegger's incredible talent as an artist and a writer.
"Niffenegger, author of the two-plus-million-copy bestseller The Time Traveler's Wife, showcases her artistic talent in an oversized 'novel in pictures' she calls 'the book of my heart, a fourteen-year labor of love.' It's the strange and haunting story of three sisters who 'lived together in a lonely house by the sea, near the lighthouse, miles away from the city.' Blonde Bettine is the youngest and prettiest, redhead Clothilde is 'the most talented' and blue-haired Ophile, the eldest, is considered the smartest. When lightning kills the lighthouse keeper, his son, Paris, arrives to take his place; Paris and Bettine quickly fall in love and conceive a child. Jealous Ophile misbehaves badly; psychic Clothilde communes with the unborn baby, whom she names the Saint; and Bettine and Paris run away to the city, where tragedy strikes. Niffenegger's spare, full-page, sepia-toned aquatints ('an idiosyncratic, antique' medium) are evocative and Gorey-esque; they tell the story more than the minimalist prose does. And Niffenegger's afterword is illuminating, both about the process of making aquatints and about her productive methods of procrastination: The Time Traveler's Wife, she reveals, 'started its life as the project I played with when I should have been finishing Sisters.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[E]erily beautiful....Niffenegger's grim yet erotic tale and stunningly moody gothic prints possess the sly subversion of Edward Gorey, the emotional valence of Edvard Munch, and her very own brilliant use of iconographic pattern, surprising perspective, and tensile line in the service of a delectable, otherworldly sensibility." Booklist (Starred Review)
"An elegant volume that feels more like a catalog for an art exhibition....Each plate is imbued with a somber beauty and intensity that will draw the reader/viewer back for more thorough and rewarding scrutiny." Chicago Tribune
Haunting illustrations and lyrical prose depict a timeless saga of love, revenge, and ultimately, transcendence, in a tale of three very different sisters: one who is beautiful, one who is smart, and one who is talented.
About the Author
Audrey Niffenegger is the author of the New York Times best-selling and critically acclaimed novel The Time Traveler's Wife, which has sold one million copies in North America and was a Today Show book club pick. She has exhibited her artwork nationwide and teaches art and printmaking at Columbia College. She lives in Chicago.
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