The Paris Muse, a book by Louisa Treger

Published 4 July 2024 at Bloomsbury Publishing, here comes the second novel of londoner writer Louisa Treger.


The paris muse jacket


The author of Madwoman – a historical fiction book of the year in The Times and The Sunday Times - shares with The Paris Muse the fictionalised love story between the artist, Pablo Picasso and his muse, Dora Maar...

Louisa Treger’s novel centres more especially on the character of French photographer, painter and poet Dora Maar, who fell in love and had a tempestuous affair with Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, that eventually led to her nervous breakdown.

Moving and intense, this novel puts Dora Maar at the heart of the story as much more than Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’, but as a gifted artist in her own right.


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 ultimately pushes her to the edge.





'Living with him was like living at the centre of the universe. It was electrifying and humbling,

blissful and destructive, all at the same time.'



Even more, The Paris Muse novel follows 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 - it leads Dora to a nervous breakdown.

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.


Louisa Treger



About the author: Louisa Treger is the acclaimed author of three novels, The Lodger (2014), The Dragon Lady (2019) and Madwoman (2022), which was a Book of the Month in the Independent and The Sunday Times.

She has written for The Times, The Telegraph, Tatler, BBC History Magazine and English Heritage

 Louisa Treger said: "Dora Maar is mostly known for being Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’, as though tears were the most interesting thing about her.

But she was a woman of passion and conviction, and a talented photographer and artist.

I loved drawing her out from Picasso’s long, dark shadow and I hope readers will be as enthralled by her as I have been."



Did you know?  "Louisa Treger started her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher. Subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing" (source).

More information on the author website.

Many thanks to Sam Evans of Read Media for the documentation.

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