Our Bookseller Says:
“These women are a little unhinged, a little messy, and so very dissatisfied with the impenetrable constructs of their realities, the edges of their lives upheld by what society says they should want.
Wandering and character-forward with a twist into genre, this book delves into themes of longing and rejection, its leads both compelling and alienating, and asks the reader to follow it through clues and codes from one unknowable possibility to the next.”
“Fraught and deeply moving…the work of a genuinely exciting new talent.” —Booker Prize winner, George Saunders.
If a picture paints a thousand worlds . . .
Abandoned as an infant on the local veterinarian’s front porch, Pepper Rafferty was raised by two loving mothers, and now, at thirty-six is married to the stable, supportive Ike. She’s never told anyone that at fifteen she discovered the identity of her biological mother.
That’s because her birth mother is Ula Frost, a reclusive painter famous for the outrageous claims that her portraits summon their subjects’ doppelgängers from parallel universes.
Researching the rumors, Pepper couldn’t help but wonder: Is there a parallel universe in which she is more confident, more accomplished, better able to accept love?
A universe in which Ula decided she was worth keeping?
A universe in which Ula’s rejection didn’t still hurt too much to share?
Combining a thrilling pan-continental race against time with an authentic and touching personal drama, Self-Portrait with Nothing is an unforgettable debut that explores what it means to be part of a family.