A few words about book's author
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a guide at Highgate Cemetery. In addition to the bestselling novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, she is the author of three illustrated novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters, The Adventuress, and The Night Bookmobile. She lives in Chicago.
In her book Three Incestuous Sisters, Audrey Niffenegger tells the tale of a trio of sisters, each with her own special trait. There is blond Bettine, the beautiful one, blue-haired Ophile, the smart one, and then theres Clothilde. While hardly unintelligent and certainly not unattractive, it is still probably no coincidence that Niffenegger decided to cast her fellow redhead Clothilde as the talented one considering that she is so abundant in talent. A gifted illustrator and writer, Niffenegger is parlaying her quirky imagination into one of the most interesting bodies of work in contemporary literature. Niffeneggers love of writing developed when she was a young girl, quietly spending her time writing and illustrating books as a hobby. Her wonderfully eccentric imaginativeness was in play from her earliest writing efforts. My ‘first novel was an epic about an imaginary road trip sic I went on with The Beatles, she explains on her website, handwritten in turquoise marker, seventy pages long, which I wrote and illustrated when I was eleven. Niffeneggers mini-magical mystery tour may have been her first novel, but the first one to which the rest of the world would be privy came many years later. She had already established herself as a prominent artist whose work had been shown in the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress, and the Houghton Library at Harvard University when The Time Travelers Wife was published in 2003. I wanted to write about a perfect marriage that is tested by something outside the control of the couple, Niffenegger told bookbrowse.com. The title came to me out of the blue, and from the title sprang the characters, and from the characters came the story. The Time Travelers Wife, a sci-fi romance about the mercurial time traveler Henry and Clare, the wife who patiently awaits his return to the present, became a sensation upon its publication. This thoroughly original love story captured mass praise from USA Today, The Washington Post, People Magazine, and The Denver Post, not to mention celebrity couple Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, who promptly purchased the rights to the book and are currently developing it into a motion picture. Now that she had established herself as a talent to watch, Niffenegger finally had the opportunity to produce a book she would describe as a fourteen-year labor of love. Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel, is a gorgeous, modern-gothic storybook about the love and rivalry shared between three women. With its minimal text, Niffeneggers chiefly uses her eerie illustrations to convey the sisters story. Booklist summed up Three Incestuous Sisters quite succinctly by stating that Niffeneggers grim yet erotic tale and stunningly moody gothic prints possess the sly subversion of Edward Gorey, the emotional valence of Edvard Munch, and her very own brilliant use of iconographic pattern, surprising perspective, and tensile line in the service of a delectable, otherworldly sensibility. Now, Niffenegger is turning her attentions back to straight prose as she works on a new novel. Its called Her Fearful Symmetry, she revealed in an online chat with the Hennepin County Library. Its set in Londons Highgate Cemetery, and features as many of the cliches of 19th century fiction as I can summon. Amazingly, with such a wide variety of styles in her still budding body of work — from science fiction to fairy tale to her impending period piece — Audrey Niffeneggers books still share a strong sense of unity, a distinctly peculiar and particular vision. The thing that unites all my work is narrative, she said on her website. Im interested in telling stories, and Im interested in creating a world thats recognizable to us as ours, but is filled with strangeness and slight changes in the rules of the universe.Good To Know
In our interview, Niffenegger shared some fun facts about herself: My current job is teaching graduate students how to write, print type on letterpresses, and create limited-edition books by hand. I work for Columbia Colleges Center for Book and Paper Arts in Chicago. I helped to found the Center, and it is the center of my universe nine months of the year. The other three months I try to ignore the phone, and I do my own work. I make art. Readers can see some of it at Printworks Gallery in Chicago. They have a web site: printworkschicago.com. Almost all of the places mentioned in my book are real places that you can visit. The Newberry Library is open to people who have research projects that fit the collections of the Newberry. Vintage Vinyl is a real record store in Evanston. The Aragon Ballroom, South Haven, Michigan, Bookmans Alley, The Berghoff — I heartily recommend them all. I collect taxidermy, skeletons, books (of course), comics (mostly Raw and post-Raw independent stuff, no superheroes). I only collect small taxidermy, no bison heads, my place isnt that big. I dont own a TV. I spend a lot of time hanging out with my boyfriend, Christopher Schneberger, and attending Avocet concerts (Avocet is the band Chris plays drums with). We travel a lot; my new book is set in London, so theres lots of research to do. I garden, in a rather haphazard way. I also enjoy finding, buying, and wearing vintage clothes. All in all, its a pleasant life.