Waiting on Wednesday #3: ‘Black Venus’

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, to spotlight upcoming releases that make me clap in bookish glee.


This week’s selection is:

16066863Black Venus by James MacManus

Release date:  May 7, 2013

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books

Why?  This influential poet and figure has been largely forgotten, or at least a mystery to many.  This historical novel seems a perfect cure for that.  (I also understand that this has already been optioned for movie rights.)

From the jacket:

“A vivid novel of Charles Baudelaire and his lover Jeanne Duval, the Haitian cabaret singer who inspired his most famous and controversial poems, set in nineteenth-century Paris.
For readers who have been drawn to The Paris Wife or Woody Allen’s Midnight in ParisBlack Venus captures the artistic scene in the great French city decades earlier, when the likes of Dumas and Balzac, argued literature in the cafes of the Left Bank.  Amongst the bohemians, the young Charles Baudelaire stood out—dressed impeccably, thanks to an inheritance that was quickly vanishing.  Stil,l at work on the poems which he hoped would make his name, he spent his nights enjoying the alcohol, opium, and women who filled the seedy streets of the city.

One woman would catch his eye—a beautiful Haitian cabaret singer named Jeanne Duval.  Their lives would remain forever intertwined thereafter, and their romance would inspire his most infamous poems—leading to the banning of his masterwork Les Fleurs du Mal and a scandalous public trial for obscenity.

Black Venus recreates the classic Parisian literary world in vivid detail, complete with not just an affecting portrait of the famous poet but also his often misunderstood, much-maligned muse.”

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