Original title: Trencadis
“Caroline Deyns’ novel is powerful, warlike, sparkling, suffocating, pulsating, frightening, solar… Niki’s point of view will slice right through you and I could not wish a better thing on you. A bang-up job.” – Fanny Nowak, Le Grenier bookstore, Dinan
“At a time when consciences are sharpening to uncover the collateral damage of the patriarchal system, where the ears open to the voices of women who have long been told to keep quiet, where literature embraces the feminist cause with frenetic creativity, Caroline Deyns takes her place by giving her place back to Niki de Saint Phalle. A beautiful gesture of sorority, sealed by a flourishing text of prodigious inventiveness.” – Marine Landrot, Télérama
This is the novel about Niki de Saint Phalle we have been waiting for, touching upon this powerful woman’s existence. A feminist before her time and an iconoclastic artist, she used art as a way of reinventing herself and made her life into a work of art in itself, which she offered to the world. “I decided very early to become a heroine. It had to be something difficult, great, exciting!”
Niki de Saint Phalle began falling apart in early childhood and was able to rebuild herself with the firm and joyful intention of shattering the framework of her misfortune by transcending the deadly and ghostly figures haunting her and turning them into life forces. Her work bears witness to this.
Niki hated edges, straight lines and symmetry. Waves, curves and anything round had the power to ease any and all tension. To thin out bitterness, loosen folds: she wanted architectural words to speak like a lullaby. Her visit to the Güell Park was like a veritable epiphany. Everything there transported her: the waves of rocks, the unique way they shimmered… The word trencadis stayed with her: a mosaic made from broken pieces of ceramic and glass, recycled broken glass, more or less. This word represented her life’s work: breaking through daily life to invent something magical.
Caroline Deyns’ novel is structured, in both content and structure, like Niki’s life: rhythmic, gripping, inventive, and superbly written.