Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel

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Monday, March 06, 2006
by Audrey Niffenegger #7

This is a story of sisters (Bettine, Clothilde, Ophile), love, jealousy, revenge, death, long shiny hair, a lighthouse, madness, longing, reconciliation, reunion, a greenish baby who can fly, giant beautiful pictures, and small concise words. If words are coal, Niffenegger has pressed them down, down, down until they have become perfectly sized industrial diamonds to accompany her truly outstanding artwork. Form and function -- two great tastes that taste great together!

The artwork really grabbed me -- it's so expressive and does the bulk of the storytelling. It reminds me a lot of Japanese art/ Japonism from the turn of the 19th/20th century, a little of Gorey (some of the details, really), and even a little of Toulouse-Lautrec (although the Toulouse-Lautrec it reminds me of was when he was working in the Japanese style, so that's totally circular but I'm leaving it in). Here's a site that features some of Audrey Niffenegger's prints, including some from this book.

I don't want to give the whole story away, so I will just say that if beautiful art and foreknowledge of a greenish baby who can fly aren't enough reasons to go check this out, there's just no hope for you!
2 comments on "Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel"
  1. one of my favorite books of last year, or ever... so thanks for the site!

  2. I read about it first on your blog so thank you! It would be pretty amazing to see one of the original handmade versions of it, don't you think?


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