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The great art form. Diary of an Actress (Le Grand Art)

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Original Language: French | 350 pp. | October 2018

2 Seas Represents: English (USA & Canada), Dutch and Nordic rights.

LITERARY FICTION

The life of an opera singer

Fifty years after the death of one of the most famous 20th century’s explorers, her remarkable novel Le Grand Art, loosely based on her own experiences as an opera singer,is for the first time being published in a special edition.

Written in the first person, the novel recounts the adventures of Cécile Raynaud during the Belle Époque: her trials and tribulations,her compromises and her eventual triumph as an opera singer on the stages of Paris. The story’s vibrancy and authenticity owe much to the fact that Alexandra David-Neél was able to draw on her own early career as an opera singer in writing this novel.

Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969) was a woman of many facets: an opera singer, a journalist, a feminist, a Buddhist and a writer. She was also an explorer, perhaps best known for her visit to Lhasa in disguise in 1924, whose writings influenced the beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.