28 Paradises


Published in English for the first time, 28 Paradises is the marriage of prose and painting by Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick Modiano and his partner, the illustrator Dominique Zehrfuss.


ISBN: 9781644230022 Category:

Patrick Modiano, Dominique Zehrfuss


28 Paradises is a rare book: it reveals not only the individual talents of the authors, Modiano and Zehrfuss, but also the depth of the couple’s creative union. Sensitively translated into English for the first time by Damion Searls, 28 Paradises captures the exquisite sadness of waking from a beautiful dream. There are twenty-eight dreams in this book, or perhaps one dream in twenty-eight parts-visions of paradise imagined by Zehrfuss during a time of deep sadness. Captured first in Zehrfuss’s brightly colored gouaches, each paradise was then refashioned as a poem by Modiano.

Zehrfuss’s 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. These paradises are wishes for moments when a painting, or a poem, or a lover-perhaps they are not so different-relieves the loneliness of being human. As Modiano writes with a touch of wistfulness, “The Lilliputian painted her paradises / And I / Next to her / Wrote a poem.” 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.

First published by Editions de l’Olivier/ Le Seuil in 2005

Additional information

Weight 72 g
Dimensions 11.1 x 16.7 cm
Publisher name David Zwirner Books
Publication date 1 August 2019
Number of pages 88
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 11.1 x 16.7 cm
Weight 72 g


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “28 Paradises”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Patrick Modiano spent his childhood between Paris, Haute-Savoie, and Jouy-en- Josas. Having been awarded his baccalaureate, he dedicated himself to literature at the age of eighteen. It was Raymond Queneau who introduced to him the literary circles of Paris in the 1960s. He won the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1972 and the Prix Goncourt in 1978. In 2014, his oeuvre was crowned with the Nobel Prize in Literature.