28 Paradises

Poems by Patrick Modiano
Illustrated by Dominique Zehrfuss
Translated with an introduction by Damion Searls
David Zwirner Books
Softcover, 88 pages, 28 color, English
Price: $12.95 / £8.95 / 12 €
28 Paradises
© David Zwirner Books, Photograph by Kyle Knodell

28 Paradises is the marriage of prose and painting by Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick Modiano and his partner, the illustrator Dominique Zehrfuss. Sensitively translated into English for the first time by Damion Searls, it is a rare book that reveals not only the individual talents of the authors but also the depth of the couple's creative union.

Capturing the exquisite sadness of waking from a beautiful dream, 28 Paradises encapsulates twenty-eight dreams, or perhaps one dream in twenty-eight parts-visions of paradise imagined by Zehrfuss during a time of deep sadness. Her paintings are Edens in miniature and rather than describe them outright, Modiano dreams himself into these reveries in quiet, understated verse. The reader enters this shared realm in an experience less like paging through a book and more like slipping into a shared world.

A pure example of ekphrastic writing-poetry inspired by paintings- this book shows how writing and visual art can together create a unique emotional experience.