Rachel Lyon has written a haunting tale of how a singular, devastating event in the life of a young woman photographer changes the trajectory of her life and comes to define her utterly. Beautifully imagined and flawlessly executed, Self-Portrait With Boy will suggest, to some readers, the obsessive interiority of the great Diane Arbus, conjoined with an original and disturbing examination of the ill-defined borders between life and art.
Rachel Lyon navigates a spectrum of loyalty and betrayal like a tightrope-walker, with all of the attendant suspense. A life-changing moral choice powers this atmospheric novel which shows what can happen when you do what scares you most.
Self-Portrait With Boy captures the furious beauty of a vanished New York, an irresistible whirlwind of passion, violence, love, struggle, and above all else, art. Rachel Lyon paints an unforgettable portrait of a true art monster—a young woman hellbent on pursuing greatness, no matter the cost.
A formidable novel, equal parts ghost story, love story, and riveting Bildungsroman. Full of big ideas about art and love and ambition, with prose so vivid it gives off sparks, this debut won me over completely. Chilling and beautiful, just like the work of the artist at the heart of the story.
I read Rachel Lyon's sharp and achingly beautiful novel about art and fame and loneliness and death in a frenzy, full of a deep and urgent need. With this gorgeous debut, Lyon will unravel you and then stitch you together again as something entirely new.
Self-Portrait with Boy is a remarkable debut, fierce and passionate and perfectly crafted with sure fire prose and ambition to spare. It will fill you with inspiration and longing.
Fearless and sharp.
Lyon's candid, adroit debut . . . written in raw, honest prose, is an affecting and probing moral tale about an artist choosing to advance her work at the expense of her personal relationships.