Meet the writer: Liv Strömquist

To mark the publication in France of her latest graphic novel "Dans le palais des miroirs", Liv Strömquist talks to Marion Wolff about the ideal of beauty for women.
Liv Strömquist is standing in the street, showing her profile, in a long black dress, wearing a crown and a big blue Ikea bag on her shoulder.

Liv Strömquist’s graphic novels are well-known for their razor-sharp analysis of social norms tinged with humour. Dans le palais des miroirs is no exception. Here the emphasis is on contemporary ideals of beauty that the western world stubbornly continues to embrace. Where do they come from? Could it be what the philosopher Susan Bordo calls the “empire of images”, amplified by social media, that makes us so obsessed with our appearance?

In this new book, the Swedish author unpicks the reasons for the success of the influencer Kylie Jenner, talks about the biblical myth of Jacob, Rachel and Leah and the misadventures of Empress Sissi, looks at Marilyn Monroe’s famous last photo shoot and analyses the character of Snow White’s wicked stepmother. All these themes have been chosen because they speak to the mimetic desire that prompts us to imitate one another, the close connection between appearance and love, the way women are photographed today, the changing relationship between age and beauty and the way self-image can become a weighty burden.

Liv Strömquist is a writer of graphic novels, a TV journalist and a radio presenter. After graduating in political science she began making fanzines and became so popular that she was spotted by a publisher. In 2005 she published her first graphic novel titled Hundra procent Fett. Since then she has become one of the leading writers of graphic novels and one of the most important cultural personalities in Sweden. She has written seven graphic novels; it was L’Origine du monde, published in France in 2012, that first made her popular among French readers.

Moderator: Marion Wolff, bookseller at Tram-Librairie and member of the graphic novel podcast Le Gaufrier.

In collaboration with Rackham.

Useful information:

  • The interview will be in English.
  • Admission free, prior reservation not required.
  • To ensure that everybody is protected and that events run smoothly, our team is implementing a number of hygiene and safety measures. Please read the barrier gestures by clicking here.