Supplément à la vie de Barbara Loden
Supplément à la vie de Barbara Loden by Nathalie Léger
“The iconic woman of the 70’s is nothing but a woman wondering what she will do with her so-called liberty. She wonders what kind of lie she will be forced to invent in order to hide, at ease, from men, so that she will – finally – be left alone.” (Nathalie Léger)
In this eerie and enchanting novel, Nathalie Léger leads us through an intimate exploration of the life and work of Barbara Loden. With much subtlety, she reveals the delicate and insightful portrait of three women struggling to keep their balance, as they find themselves caught between their own aspirations and the ones that are forced on them, and between their desires, fears and renunciations.
In Supplément à la vie de Barbara Loden, no specific reference to the age of the narrator is made. All we know about this discreet person is that she is an author commissioned to write a short text on Barbara Loden, an actress mostly remembered as the director of a unique – but nevertheless splendid – movie, Wanda. (Prior to becoming Elias Kazan’s wife, Barbara Loden was his longtime companion and his inspiration for the novel and film The Arrangement)
Our narrator falls prey to the ambiguity between the real character of Barbara Loden and the subject of Wanda and winds up conflating the two. In any case, engrossed by her own and Barbara Loden’s mirroring destinies, the narrator gets lost in her research, which leads her across the United States to the path of her own mother’s past.
A spellbinding portrait of three women struggling to keep their balance, as they find themselves caught between their own aspirations and those that are forced on them.
Novel, P.O.L., 2012