My Phantom Husband Paperback – 3 Jul 2000
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What goes through your mind, how do you begin to make sense of things, when your husband goes out for a few minutes to buy bread--and never returns? Marie Darrieussecq's first novel, translated as Pig Tales and a huge bestseller in her native France, was a surreal account of a woman slowly being transformed into a sow. Her new book details the inner transformations undergone by a woman unaccountably left by her husband: what both novels share is an acute sense of the place of women in modern society while remaining fastidiously accurate to the sensibilities of their protagonists. Both novels ask questions about the degree to which identity is grounded in the perception of others, in the mirrored symbiosis of relationships.
What really sets Darrieussecq apart from many other writers is her attention to language--although My Phantom Husband is a short book, it invites considered reading--the closely focused prose allows the reader to track the micro-climates of anxiety, fear, listlessness, shock, hallucination and despair (not to mention inadvertent humour) as they affect the mind of the narrator. Darrieussecq renders unsparingly the meandering shifts and bifurcations of the traumatised self: like the edges of fractal curves, thoughts spool and fracture outwards or converge on some strange attractor--everything is in the emotional detail, the tidal oscillation between hyper-sensitised and desensitised states.
Echoing the previous book, there is a hint of surreality here: the undefined location of the book is some curiously hybrid postcolonial landscape and Darrieussecq subtly sets up reverberations between inner mental terrain and outward place, hinting at other possible readings of the book's psychic drama. Finally though it is the immediate impression that is so affecting in what is, quite simply, an extraordinary and powerful study of loss. --Burhan Tufail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"'A work of absolute genius and, quite simply, the best book I have ever read for The Bookseller.' Rob Cassy, The Bookseller 'After the grotesque comedy of Pig Tales, Darrieussecq has taken a step further, refined her talent, and produced one of the best books of the year.' Alex Clark, Guardian"See all Product description