Read Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon Online

Self-Portrait with Boy

A compulsively readable and electrifying debut about an ambitious young female artist who accidentally photographs a boy falling to his deathan image that could jumpstart her career, but would also devastate her most intimate friendship.Lu Rile is a relentlessly focused young photographer struggling to make ends meet. Working three jobs, responsible for her aging father, and worrying that the crumbling warehouse she lives in is being sold to developers, she is at a point of desperation. One day, in the background of a self-portrait, Lu accidentally captures on film a boy falling past her window to his death. The photograph turns out to be startlingly gorgeous, the best work of art shes ever made. Its an image that could change her lifeif she lets it. But the decision to show the photograph is not easy. The boy is her neighbors son, and the tragedy brings all the buildings residents together. It especially unites Lu with his beautiful grieving mother, Kate. As the two forge an intense bond based on sympathy, loneliness, and budding attraction, Lu feels increasingly unsettled and guilty, torn between equally fierce desires: to use the photograph to advance her career, and to protect a woman she has come to love. Set in early 90s Brooklyn on the brink of gentrification, Self-Portrait with Boy is a provocative commentary about the emotional dues that must be paid on the road to success, a powerful exploration of the complex terrain of female friendship, and a brilliant debut from novelist Rachel Lyon....

Title : Self-Portrait with Boy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781501169588
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 376 pages
Url Type : Home » Self-portrait » Self-Portrait with Boy

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Self-Portrait with Boy Reviews

  • Anna Luce

    ★★★★★ (5 stars)

    Self-Portrait with Boy is an intensely powerful debut novel, one that tells an all-encompassing and all-consuming story.

    A small digression: lured by the summary, I was keen to get my hands on Self-Portrait with Boy, however, once I found out that Lyon avoids using quotation marks...I became hesitant. For some silly reason, I just cannot stand reading books that do not follow traditional formatting. Still, I wanted to read this...and then I had an 'idea'...what if I were to listen

  • Rachel

    I was blown away by this book.

    Self-Portrait with Boy is a ruthless examination of the cost of success for a young hopeful photographer. Lu Rile is in her late 20s, squatting in an Artists in Residence abandoned-warehouse-turned-apartment in Brooklyn which is so run down it should be condemned, working three jobs and trying to break into the competitive arts scene. When she accidentally captures in a self-portrait the image of a young boy falling to his death, the photograph turns out to be stunn

  • Kathleen Bender

    Really interesting story. Not necessarily thought-provoking, but it was unique.

    One of the things I liked the most was actually the writing style. The author doesn’t use quotations to discern between characters or mention who is speaking. It made me try to understand the characters a little deeper, so I’d be able to know who was speaking based off of their mannerisms and personality.

    Wasn’t really a fan of the main character, mainly because of her interactions with her dad (his Christmas present

  • Sandy

    4.5 stars Lu Rile is a poor photographer living in a DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) artist in residence warehouse during the 90s. She's abrasive, greedy, solitary and desperate. In the midst of taking a self-portrait, she accidentally captures the image of her neighbor's son falling from the roof to his death. Despite the devastation, she realizes this is her best and most brilliant image. The quandary, of course, is what to do, especially as she grows closer to Kate, his mother. T

    Lu Rile is the kind of unlikable character I prefer in novels. She never takes off her glasses and transforms into an alluring beauty; she never exudes charm. To the end, she is ruthless about her work. When her ailing father gives her a photo book filled with images of sunsets and forests, she blasts him, "But these things aren't art; Maybe they're beautiful in person, you know, maybe it would calm or soothe someone to be on a mountain in the mist or whatever, but why? Who opens up a book to look at a picture of a beach? People who hate their lives. The anxious and the weak. This isn't art, it's fucking lidocaine." Okay, Lu. A warning: There is a ghastly rat scene, but you may find the lack of quotation marks more upsetting.


  • Sharif

    Self-Portrait with Boy is narrated by Lu Rile, an artist photographer in her mid-twenties struggling to make ends meet while living in pre-gentrified Brooklyn during the early ‘90s. The primary pulse of the novel centers around a self-portrait photograph Lu serendipitously took of a boy, Max Schubert-Fine, falling to his death. Almost immediately upon developing the photograph, Lu christens it a “masterpiece” that she believes will definitely launch her career. It turns out that Max was the son ...more

  • Emily

    This wasn’t quite what I expected, but then I don’t really know what I expected. Lu was a refreshing kind of anti-heroine who I sympathized with the whole time, even though she wasn’t necessarily likeable. Overall a really poignant story.

  • Eileen

    I really wanted to love this book and looked forward to reading it. I like what the author was trying to do and the idea behind the book, but feel there were too many little subplots going on. There was the main story of the photograph, there were the issues with living in an artist's loft under a slum lord, there was some attempts at 90s nostalgia, there was a friendship between the main character and a neighbor which she kept saying was her "closest friend" but it wasn't really developed, ther ...more

  • Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog:

    'Tragedy is insignifigant, banal.'

    Is it? Lu Rile is hungry, to be something in the art world, to make her mark no matter what. Art is to be seen, be it disturbing or not. Is it her fault if the photo that could make her career happens to be another woman’s all consumning tragedy? When she accidentally captures a young boy falling to his death in a photograph of herself, she has to decide whether betrayal is a worthy price to pay in the name of a