Read an exclusive excerpt in Granta and an interview in Document Journal.

‘These subjects, ranging from anxiety that his sexual desirability is dependent on his girlfriend imagining she’s sleeping with the next Schoenberg, to the paralysing effect of nazism on art, to beautiful insights into the compositional process, ensure that the book is no melancholic meditation on lost loves. For a comparatively short novel, Blue Self-Portrait yokes together an extraordinary profusion of ideas.’ The Guardian

‘Like an application of the prose style of Thomas Bernhard to a particular female experience more reminiscent of Bridget Jones: a form of acute social embarrassment and chronic self-deprecation. The strength of Lefebvre’s novel is that it holds this private anxiety in balance not just with the highbrow cultural references of a well-educated European elite (Brecht, Mann and Adorno all get nods) but with the trauma of the Continent’s recent history.’ Times Literary Supplement

L’autoportrait bleu calls to mind fine lacework, all fancy stitching, a delicate succession of interconnected loops. Nothing but beautiful work here. In this devilishly virtuosic text, which also evokes contrapuntal music, Noémi Lefebvre writes like a genuine composer. It’s rare to find a writer successfully able to lend a musical shape to their text. Lefebvre has taken up the challenge in this astonishing, vertiginous account.’ – Le Figaro littéraire

‘As the plot unfolds among Berlin’s cultural institutions Lefebvre’s musical prose reflects the multidisciplinary approach of the artist it pays homage to.’ Big Issue North

‘A weighty, literary, text, and other than length it is not a “small” book. It is ideas and emotion-rich, and for anyone else who’s all into this contemporary stream of consciousness revival, it’s definitely worth your time.’ Triumph of the Now

‘Beautifully pitched and compellingly virtuosic (...) Blue Self-Portrait accomplishes its own inner musicality, while presenting the spectre of a self-portrait lived between memory, association and speculation.’ Contemporary Small Press

‘Yet it’s not Schoenberg to whom the narrator turns, for comfort, for closure, as the plane descends into Paris, it’s not Brahms, or Beethoven, or Mann, it’s not any man. It’s her sister, who has sat by her side the whole time (…) I could continue writing about this book, its impressive brief heft, both self-portrait and prismatic reference, long into the night, but rather I think I’ll go call my sister, whose own maximum is fearful to behold, because, after all I have already said too much and it’s time, instead, to listen.’ On the Seawall

From the US:

‘The feminist muse is an artist, too. No silent sitter, she swaps the easel-facing chaise for a work space wholly hers, sloughing off the obligation to inspire. Noemi Lefebvre’s novel Blue Self-Portrait glances askance at the mythos of male genius and the mute, compliant notion of womanhood on which it relies. Through masterful formal play, Lefebvre’s novel delights in mussing over-simple distinctions between artist and subject, insisting instead on a mutual, two-way gaze.’ – Public Books

‘In Lefebvre’s hands, the “history of me” becomes the “history of us.”’ Document


Self-Portrait as Blue Self-Portrait: on Noémi Lefebvre, Shame, and Schoenberg, Nichole LeFebvre, On The Seawall, 29 October 2018
'This is a sort of anti-sex and the city for the modern girl', Winstonsdad, 18 December 2017
That Kind of Girl, Jonathan Gibbs, Times Literary Supplement, 10 October 2017
 Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre review – sex, art and neurosis, Eimear McBride, Guardian, 29 June 2017
'This is a somewhat difficult book to characterise', Rebecca Foster, Nudge Book, 10 June 2017
'Read something literary, something deep. Go go go', Scott Manley Hadley, Triumph of the Now, 2 June 2017

From the US:

What to Read When You Want to Read Women in Translation, The Rumpus, 24 August 2018
The stellar novel Blue Self-Portrait is an antidote for a restless mind, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, KQED, 1 July 2018
'...a roller coaster, moving quickly from thought to thought', Bridey Heing, World Literature Today, July 2018
Muses explain things to me, Lindsay Gail Gibson, Public Books, 27 June 2018
Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre: Mental Flight, Katherine Beaman, Commonplace Review, 14 May 2018
Takeoffs and Landings: Blue Self-Portrait by Noémi Lefebvre, Zack Ravas, ZYZZYVA, 1 May 2018
In Blue Self-Portrait Noémi Lefebvre created a space to breathe, Cody Delistraty, Document, 19 April 2018
20 Books You Should Read This April, Emily Temple, Literary Hub, 2 April 2018
'This is a probing, wild, and fascinating novel', Publishers Weekly, 29 January 2018
The Blue Note: on Noémi Lefebvre's Blue Self-Portrait, Amanda DeMarco, Bomb, 17 August 2017