Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye

Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye

“Self-Portrait in Green is a sort of malicious reverie where the real mingles with the imagined, the living with the dead.” — The Express (Paris)

“[C]ompelling and tightly written. . . . Rather like a Francis Bacon triptych, there is nothing fixed, comforting or coherent about the narrator’s identity or idea of herself, but the image she projects is incredibly vivid. . . . [NDiaye’s] prose reads effortlessly in Jordan Stump’s fine translation.” — Times Literary Supplement

“Eerie and mysterious. . . . A kind of French African Elena Ferrante.” — Terese Svoboda, Guggenheim fellow in fiction

“It’s a book that, once read, leaves you wondering what to think about it . . . knowing . . . you had a thought-provoking evening.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[W]ades through feminine fear, power, and insecurity like no other book I’ve encountered.” — Flavorwire

Named as one of Flavorwire’s Best Novels in 2014

Who are the green women? They are powerful (one is a disciplinarian teacher). They are mysterious (one haunts a house like a ghost). They are seductive (one marries her best friend’s father). And they are unbearably personal (one is the author’s own mother).

They are all aspects of their creator: Marie NDiaye, an author celebrated worldwide as one of France’s leading writers. Here, in her own skewed take on the memoir, NDiaye combs through all the menacing, beguiling, and revelatory memories submerged beneath the consciousness of a singular literary talent. Mysterious, honest, and unabashedly innovative, NDiaye’s self-portrait forces us all to ask questions—about what we repress, how we discover those things, and how those obsessions become us.

“NDiaye, who received France’s most prestigious literary prize . . . may be that nation’s most startling new literary voice.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[NDiaye] is increasingly—and justly—recognized as a major world writer.” — Rain Taxi Review of Books


Marie NDiaye met her father for the first time at age 15, two years before publishing her first novel. She is the recipient of the Prix Femina and the Prix Goncourt, the latter being highest honor a French writer can receive. One of ten finalists for the 2013 International Booker Prize, alongside Lydia Davis and Marilynne Robinson, she is the author of over a dozen plays and works of prose.

Jordan Stump is one of the leading translators of innovative French literature. The recipient of numerous honors and prizes, he has translated books by Nobel laureate Claude Simon, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, and Eric Chevillard, as well as Jules Verne’s French-language novel The Mysterious Island. His translation of NDiaye’s All My Friends was shortlisted for the French-American Foundation Translation Prize.