Drēma Drudge

on Tour

March 17-April 13




(literary/historical fiction)

 Release date: March 17, 2020
at Fleur-de-Lis Press

362 pages



Buy it here



Victorine, Drema Drudge’s debut novel, features Victorine Meurent, a forgotten, accomplished painter who posed nude for Edouard Manet’s most famous, controversial paintings such as Olympia and The Picnic in Paris, paintings heralded as the beginning of modern art. History has forgotten (until now) her paintings, despite the fact that she showed her work at the prestigious Paris Salon multiple times, even one year when her mentor, Manet’s, work was refused.
Her persistent desire in the novel is not to be a model anymore but to be a painter herself, despite being taken advantage of by those in the art world, something which causes her to turn, for a time, to every vice in the Paris underworld, leading her even into the catacombs.
In order to live authentically, she eventually finds the strength to flout the expectations of her parents, bourgeois society, and the dominant male artists (whom she knows personally) while never losing her capacity for affection, kindness, and loyalty. Possessing both the incisive mind of a critic and the intuitive and unconventional impulses of an artist, Victorine and her survival instincts are tested in 1870, when the Prussian army lays siege to Paris and rat becomes a culinary delicacy, and further tested when she inches towards art school while financial setbacks push her away from it. The same can be said when it comes to her and love, which becomes substituted, eventually, by art.

Note by the author:
Potential participants may want to know that my main character, a real historical person, Victorine Meurent, is libertine in her sexual nature — she likes both men and women.


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A l’ouest

This book turned out to be one of the best reads of recent times.
The intimacy that the first person narrative offers is just unparalleled.
This [the heroine’s] head strong transformation was quite inspiring to read.

Unabridged Chick

This debut novel joins one of my favorite genres of historical fiction, that of restoring personhood to a forgotten figure.
This book is a mix of history and art nerdiness combined with dishy drama of sex, gossip, and drink. Given Victorine’s storied life, Drudge does a great job of focusing on a handful of key figures and relationships, making it easy to get lost with Victorine.

Books Are Cool

 This book is a wonderful illustration of all that’s best about the historical fiction literary genre.
The author has obviously done an immense amount of research into the period, the world of the artist and the persons she portrays. It’s detailed, compelling, but never overwhelming.
Victorine is a multifaceted, excellent book, equal parts absorbing, educational and inspirational.

Bookish Ramblings

Drēma Drudge’s debut novel, Victorine, is a must for those that enjoy historical fiction. Especially for those that love art and strong female protagonists.
Victorine is a fascinating look at 19th century France. Through careful and meticulous research, Drudge transports the reader to Victorine’s era.
…A fascinating read from beginning to end.

Locks, Hooks and Books

I loved being transported back in time to mid nineteenth century Paris. The historical details were so fascinating and vivid, I felt like I was right there taking in all the sights of the city.
I recommend it for readers who enjoy reading historical fiction, especially for those who enjoy reading real life people from the past.

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Victorine_Drema DrudgeDrēma Drudge
suffers from Stendhal’s Syndrome,
the condition in which one becomes overwhelmed in the presence of great art.
She attended Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program
where she learned to transform that intensity into fiction.
Drēma has been writing in one capacity or another since she was nine,
starting with terrible poems and graduating to melodramatic stories in junior high
that her classmates passed around literature class.
She and her husband, musician and writer Barry Drudge, live in Indiana
where they record their biweekly podcast, Writing All the Things, when not traveling.
Her first novel, Victorine, was literally written in six countries while she and her husband wandered the globe.
The pair has two grown children.
In addition to writing fiction, Drēma has served as a writing coach, freelance writer, and educator.

For more about her writing, art, and travels,
please visit her website, and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free historical fiction story.

She’s always happy to connect with readers in her Facebook group, The Painted Word Salon,
or on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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