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Book of the week: Now, Now, Louison by Jean Frémon

Louise Bourgeois talks, talks to herself, reviewing the scraps of her long life in all their disorder. This is the portrait, from memory, of a woman who devoted her life to her art, a life that was also the life of the century.’ writes Jean Frémon

Progressing by image and word associations, Jean Frémon evokes Louise Bourgeois's history and inner life, bringing a sense of fascinating and moving proximity to the internationally renowned artist. The art world’s grande dame and its shameless old lady, who spun personal history into works of profound strangeness, speaks out with her characteristic insolence and wit, and comes to vibrant life again through the words of a most discrete, masterful writer.

From her childhood in France to her exile and life in America, to her death; her relationships to her family and her young assistant, her views on landmark male artists, the genesis of her own work... through the moods, barbs, resentments, reservations and back, at full speed – this is a phosphorescent account of Bourgeois’s life, as could only be captured by the imagination of one artist regarding another.

A Book Office's favourite and September's Book of the Month at Tate Modern, Now, Now, Louison is translated by Cole Swensen and published by Les Fugitives.


Jean Frémon is a gallerist by day and a writer by night. He contributes importantly to a trans-genre tendency in contemporary French letters. Since 1969 he has had over twenty works published, including novels and poems, as well as essays on art. In English, eight of his books have been published in America by independent presses and now one is published by Les Fugitives in the UK.

Cole Swensen is is an American translator, poet, editor, and a professor at Brown University, Rhode Island. A finalist for the National Book Award in 2004 and the recipient of a PEN USA Award for her translation of Jean Frémon’s The Island of the Dead, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006.

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