Exuberantly entertaining. -New York Times

[A] heady romp through the galleries and nightclubs of interwar France. – Vogue

Exquisitely crafted. -Wall Street Journal

[A] splendid new biography. -Associated Press

Vibrant prose as beguiling as Kiki herself. –Toronto Star

Absorbing and insightful. -Boston Globe

[Kiki] finally gets her literary due. -Hollywood Reporter

Snappy prose…a dynamic reframing. -Mail on Sunday

A lively study. –Times (UK)

A vivid evocation of Kiki the performer. -Spectator 

A rich, affectionate look at bohemian Paris. —Kirkus Reviews

Top-notch, highly readable nonfiction. –A.V. Club

A Roaring 20s jewel. -Air Mail

Compelling. -Los Angeles Review of Books

As irresistible as it is overdue. – Chicago Review of Books

[A] comprehensive page-turner. –Departures

Robust cultural history. -National Book Review

A dazzling portrait of Paris’s forgotten artist and cabaret star, whose incandescent life asks us to see the history of modern art in new ways.


In  freewheeling 1920s Paris, Kiki de Montparnasse captivated as a nightclub performer, sold out gallery showings of her paintings, starred in Surrealist films, and shared drinks and ideas with the likes of Jean Cocteau and Marcel Duchamp. Her best-selling memoir—featuring an introduction by Ernest Hemingway—made front-page news in France and was immediately banned in America. All before she turned 30.

Kiki was once the symbol of bohemian Paris. But if she is remembered today, it is only for posing for several now-celebrated male artists, including Modigliani and Calder, but especially for Man Ray. Why has Man Ray’s legacy endured while Kiki has become a footnote?

Kiki and Man Ray met in 1921 during a chance encounter at a café. What followed was an explosive decade-long connection, both professional and romantic, during which the couple grew and experimented as artists, competed for fame, and created many of the shocking images that cemented Man Ray’s reputation as one of the great artists of the modern era. The works they made together, including the Surrealist icons Le Violon d’Ingres and Noire et blanche, now set records at auctions.

Charting their volatile relationship, historian Mark Braude illuminates for the first time Kiki’s seminal influence not only on Man Ray’s art, but on the culture of 1920s Paris and beyond. As provocative and magnetically irresistible as Kiki herself, Kiki Man Ray is the story of an exceptional life that will challenge ideas about artists and muses—and the lines separating the two.

MARK BRAUDE is the author of Kiki Man Ray (W.W. Norton, 2022), The Invisible Emperor (Penguin Press, 2018), and Making Monte Carlo (Simon & Schuster, 2016). His books have been translated into Czech, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish. Kiki Man Ray was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named a Summer 2022 Book to Read by Vogue, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times and others. The Invisible Emperor won a ‘Coup de Coeur’ recognition at the American Library in Paris Book Awards and was named to Best of the Year lists by The Seattle Times and The Oregonian.

Mark was a 2020 visiting fellow at the American Library in Paris and was named a 2017 Public Scholar by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the recipient of grants from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the de Groot Foundation, among others. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) as well as a lecturer in Stanford’s departments of Art History, French, and History. He has written for The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Times, New Republic and others.

Born in Vancouver, Mark went to college at the University of British Columbia. He received an MA from New York University’s Institute of French Studies and a PhD in History and Visual Studies from the University of Southern California. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and their two daughters.