Self-Portrait with Nothing

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Self-Portrait with Nothing is a glance into the multiverse, an attempt to articulate the endless permutations of identity, loss, and love. The story follows Pepper Rafferty, a forensic anthropologist, whose universe is ripped open when her estranged biological mother and famed artist, Ula Frost, goes missing. With the rumors of alternate universes looming over the missing painter and her mysterious portraits, Pepper finds herself trapped in the mystery of her mother’s making, a journey that leads her into the unknown and brings her to question everything she knows or thinks she knows about who a person is and isn’t.

At times, the pacing felt uneven and seemed to better serve either a much longer book or a shorter one in a series. The exposition took its time to establish Pepper’s character and relationships, while the last third of the novel rushed to the ending. Still, Aimee Pokwatka’s debut novel ambitiously pieces together different genres to explore the multiverse in an unusual, fresh light. With the meandering of a literary novel, Self-Portrait with Nothing also dips its toes into thriller, magical realism, and heist, bringing the reader along in a dizzying, thought-provoking flourish.

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Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Tordotcom
Publish Date 18-Oct-2022
ISBN 9781250820846 Buy this Book
Issue January 2023
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy