Managing to be both heart-wrenching and hopeful, Masuga probes the very depths of what it means to be a survivor, an artist, and ultimately human.
—Jillian Lauren, bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
The Blue of Night is a fascinating fusion of European modernist novel and American story of survival. As it alternates between timelines, it unfolds the tale of an impossible mother, a formative love affair, and a daughter finding her own way into parenthood. Its subtle and patient chronicle of painful love is reminiscent of Elizabeth Bowen's The House in Paris or Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, but with the difference that its resilient heroine Aggie is a modern woman, closer in spirit to the protagonists of Tara Westover's Educated, Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina. The scenes of Paris are drawn with intricate and familiar love, and Masuga's pedigree as a modernist scholar gives her fiction a beautiful intellectual heft, as well as a feeling of intimacy with the bohemian artists she looks to for lessons, from Virginia Woolf to Djuna Barnes to Gertrude Stein. The odyssey of an intellectual woman reckoning with her past, The Blue of Night makes modernism feel newly resonant and full of resources for survival. Masuga's work is a testament to the possibility of healing through art, and especially through the compellingly fragmented texts of modernism.
—Keri Walsh, editor of The Letters of Sylvia Beach and Joyce's Dubliners
Rich with literary illusions and beautifully wrought, Masuga’s The Blue of Night is a compelling tale of the struggle for meaning and belonging: the work of every human life.
—Capria Jaussen, Director of Operations, Books@Work
Floating between the shadows of the Eiffel Tower and the rundown shanties of the American west, Katy Masuga takes us on a gutting ride of love and loss, crafting a new vocabulary for the inescapable bonds of kinship and the wounds that make us. The Blue of Night is told with the straightforward ache of a mountain ballad, leavened with the modernist time of Faulkner and Proust. I awoke from the book devastated but clear, lit with courage and hunger, brain tickled, ready to race until my lungs burned.
—Lauren Du Graf, award-winning arts critic
I doubt there’s a woman on earth who doesn’t understand or hasn’t felt the obsessive, nervous love which is at the heart of Katy Masuga’s wonderful novel, The Blue of Night. But while the central love story might be universal, Masuga’s depictions of her heroine and her many siblings near feral existence in America’s West is beyond imagining. There is true wisdom in this book about the high cost of attempting to break the constraints about one’s past if, in the end, you lose sight of your present-day worth.
—Bex Brian, author of Promiscuous Unbound
Katy Masuga’s The Blue of Night weaves a mighty tale, a novel with a memoir body. Masuga writes with a strong and lyrical voice, planting the characters in their hard lives. These lives come to life, in all their color and variety. Masuga’s language and style, full of contrasts and oppositions, capture the sadness, the uncertainty of the characters. From the incredible closeness and loyalty of children to a damaged mother who was barely a mother, to strained personal lives and difficult choices, the multi-layered storylines crisscrossing from Europe to deep America form a finely crafted work.
—Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, translators of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Katy Masuga is the author of four books: The Blue of Night (Spuyten Duvyil, 2020), The Origin of Vermilion (ibid, 2016), Henry Miller and How He Got That Way (Edinburgh UP, 2011) and The Secret Violence of Henry Miller (Boydell and Brewer, 2011) as well as of numerous essays and short stories that often blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction. She received both a doctorate in Comparative Literature and a joint doctorate in Theory and Criticism from the University of Washington, Seattle. She lives in France with her children.