Entertainment :: Books

Blue is the Warmest Color

by Kitty Drexel
Contributor
Wednesday Oct 2, 2013
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Clementine has always known that she’s different from other young women. She attempts to be normal: she dates boys and studies hard for her university entrance exams like she’s supposed to do. She didn’t know was that she was gay until she met the blue-coiffed Emma at a gay bar in Paris; she falls head-over-heels in love at first sight. Detailed in diary entries that span her late adolescence into adulthood, and illustrated by the raw artwork of the author, "Blue is the Warmest Color" follows the bittersweet romance of Clementine and Emma.

This graphic novel takes place in the mid-’90s (four years before France granted civil unions (PACS) to same-sex partners) during a time when public activists for LGBT equal rights were starting to poke their noses into mainstream news. Like in the US at that time, gay activism was barely tolerated and not discussed in polite conversation. In "Blue is the Warmest Color," the gay characters are entreated to keep their self-revelations to themselves or else face societal rejection. Clementine is an earnest young woman who assumes that lesbians are sexual deviants. Meeting Emma changes her mind. Hopefully, reading this novel in its many translations will change the minds of others.

Clementine is an earnest young woman who assumes that lesbians are sexual deviants. Meeting Emma changes her mind.

The live-action, French-language film version of "Blue Is the Warmest Color," entitled "La Vie d’Adèle," won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. Directed by director Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, it contains explicit sex scenes between the two leading actresses. It will be released to North America in Fall 2013 through Sundance Selects/IFC Films (USA) and Mongrel Media (Canada).

"Blue is the Warmest Color"
Julie Maroh
Printed in English by Arsenal Pulp Press
Originally French, entitled "Le bleu est une couleur chaude," by Glénat publications
$19.95

by Julie Maroh

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