Download I Am Madame X Audiobook

I Am Madame X Audiobook, by Gioia Diliberto Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Gioia Diliberto Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538463284
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Madame X, John Singer Sargent’s most famous and scandalous portrait, caused an immediate furor when Sargent unveiled it at the 1884 Paris Salon. The subject’s bold pose, provocative dress, and decadent pallor shocked the public, and the critics panned the picture, smashing Sargent’s dream of a Paris career.

Even before Sargent painted her portrait, Virginie Gautreau’s reputation for promiscuity and showy self-display made her the subject of vicious Paris gossip. In this remarkable novel, the author tells Virginie’s story, drawing on the sketchy facts of the notorious beauty’s life to recreate her tempestuous personality, the captivating milieu of Belle Epoch Paris, and the struggle between artist and model to control the painting that would change their lives and affect the course of art history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Diliberto fills in the blanks of Virginie’s life with vivid brush strokes. What ensues is a complex and often incredibly fun portrait...[a] handsomely imagined story.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A romping good read.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Diliberto does not make the mistake of imagining a coherent biographical trajectory for her protagonist but instead presents the messiness and difficulty of real life. In other words, her novelistic portrait of a real person turns out to have more psychological truth than many a biography.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune

  • “[An] inventive and persuasive imagining of Gautreau’s story. Lorna Raver is sensational as the throaty, world-weary Virginie, looking back over her life and loves (there were quite a few), and especially vividly recounting the making of the famous painting, the scandal it caused, and the aftereffects of the celebrity it created.”


  • “This fast scroll through history…against a backdrop of parties, salons, operas, artists’ studios, and sexual escapades is inviting for its wealth of well-researched period details.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Lively and provocative…Diliberto has created a heroine who is as capricious and vain and as compelling and seductive as [Sargent’s] portrait suggests.”


  • “Diliberto’s writing brings Virginie to life…creating a complex woman who recognizes that her beauty is her most precious commodity…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Chicago Tribune Book of the Year, 2003

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About the Author

Gioia Diliberto is the author of biographies of Jane Addams, Hadley Hemingway, and Brenda Frazier. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Richard Babcock, and their son, Joe. I Am Madame X is her first novel.

About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and many AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has appeared on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regional theaters around the country. Among her many television credits are NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Boston Legal, ER, and Star Trek. She starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell.