Read excerpts in 3:AM Magazine and The Paris Review.

Backlisted Podcast, John Mitchinson and Andy Miller are joined by Dickon Edwards to discuss books by Angus Wilson, Nathalie Léger, Jane Austen, Nicholas Mosley and Susan Sontag, 4 February 2019

‘Beautifully translated’ – Times Literary Supplement

‘This beautiful book is striking for its echoes of artists who are either quoted or (never gratuitously) emulated, including Godard, Fred Wiseman, Sebald and Perec.’ – La Quinzaine littéraire

‘One of my favorite pieces, a multigenre portrait of Léger, Loden, and Wanda (the titular subject of Loden’s 1970 film, which Loden wrote and directed and in which she stars). Léger sets out to write a short notice of Loden for an encyclopedia but quickly becomes mired in the task. How do you describe a person you don’t know? What constitutes their essentialness? And how do you tell their story simply? Since closing our Winter issue last week, I’ve taken up the rest of the book, and I’ve found it to be one of the most affecting stories I’ve read in a long time. A mix of observation, recitation, and imagination, Suite persists in the idea that no single perspective is sufficient in gaining an understanding of a person, and also, perhaps, that no accumulation of perspectives is sufficient either.’ – The Paris Review

‘There’s a kind of inert vividness to these descriptions, a scrim between me and the dramatic moment, that I find almost erotic. Léger intersperses descriptions of Wanda with passages about how she came to know this movie, how she tried and tried to understand Barbara Loden herself. Woven into these, too, are autobiographical asides. One begins: “Once upon a time the man I loved reproached me for my apparent passivity with other men.” The result of these combined fragments is delicious and mysterious.' – Edan Lepucki, The Millions, A Year in Reading 2016

‘Léger jump-cuts through time and space with the expertise of a movie director’ – Joanna Walsh

‘An extraordinary book. It reads compulsively and is unlike anything else I have read.’ – Selma Dabbagh

‘Immensely readable, extremely thought-provoking and really quite haunting […] And best of all, it achieves that most elusive feat of never reading like a translation.’ – Lydia Syson

‘In hugely reductive terms, this is Geoff Dyer’s Zona meets Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick: an open and intelligent piece of art criticism drifts into broader critique of social and cultural issues, and is honest about the fact that it can’t do any of these without also being autobiographical. That it is published in a beautiful edition that gives a boutique twist on the classic French livre de poche style, by a brand new British publisher proudly asserting their ownership of an important but overlooked niche, only adds to the charm. Book of the year.’ – Jonathan Gibbs

From the US:

‘Here, now, is a remarkable new book that does everything—biography, criticism, film history, memoir, and even fiction, all at once, all out in front. . . . In her combination of the conversational and the incantatory, the fragmentary and the infinite, Léger captures something of [Marguerite] Duras’s own tones and moods, yet her approach to Loden and her appreciation of Wanda are entirely her own.’ – The New Yorker

‘A  powerful example of how summary, channeled through the most personal of perspectives, can be a form of art.’ – Harper's Magazine

‘A truly remarkable book. I love Leger's obsessive circling, the connections she draws in and through the Loden/Wanda narrative, some deeply haunting images ...’ – Anna Zalakostas (Green Apple Books, San Francisco)

‘Suite for Barbara Loden isn’t just the story of Barbara Loden: it’s the story of Nathalie Léger, and to a certain extent, the story of women everywhere. How better to preserve oneself than to be the author of one’s own vulnerability?’ – Bloom


Backlisted, Angus Wilson - Hemlock and After, John Mitchinson and Andy Miller with Dickon Edwards, 4 February 2019
Top 10 books about wild womenThe Guardian, 11 January 2017
Staff Picks: Léger, Loving, LSD, The Paris Review, 11 November 2016
Cinema on the page: Suite for Barbara Loden, online exclusive by Jonathan Gibbs, The White Review, May 2016
It takes both the novel and the biography to new and interesting places’, Eimear McBride, Guardian Books of the Year, 28 November 2015
Jonathan Gibbs’ Book of the YearTiny Camels, 8 December 2015
Review 31′s Best Novels of 2015, Dominic Jaeckle, Review 31, December 2015
Recently Read: Nathalie Léger & Roger Grenier, Terry Pitts, Vertigo, 9 June 2015
Wanda: Book of the Film, Anna Goodall, Original Cine, 31 March 2015

From the US:

4 Women, One Continuous Story: The Slow Bloom of Suite for Barbara Loden, Maddie King, Bloom, 17 April 2019
Booze, pathos, and passivity in Suite for Barbara Loden, Brandon Soderberg, City Paper, Baltimore, USA, 25 January 2017
Barbara Loden: A Woman Telling Her Own Story Through That of Another Woman, Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 1 November 2016
New Books, Christine Smallwood, Harper's Magazine, October 2016
Suite for Barbara LodenAmanda de Marco, The Rumpus, 2 June 2015
A Miniature Model of Modernity: Suite for Barbara Loden, Jenny McPhee, Bookslut, April 2015
Nathalie Léger’s Suite for Barbara Loden, K. Thomas Kahn, Music & Literature, 10 March 2015