Bored and lonely, 15-year-old Hélène decides to pay a visit to her father’s mistress. Within days, she is captivated by Tamara, a Russian émigré whose arts of enchantment include lingering kisses, sudden dismissals, and savage, rapturous reunions. As long as she submits to Tamara, Hélène is permitted to stay near her: reading forbidden novels, meeting Tamara’s bohemian friends, and learning more refinements of depravity” than the gossiping matrons of her provincial French town could imagine existed.
Flemish writer Françoise Mallet-Joris was 20 years old in 1951 when her first novel, Le Rempart des Beguines published in English as The Illusionist created a sensation in France. This contemplative, beautifully written book, with its dark undercurrents of desire, has its origins in Madame Bovary and the novels of Colette, and was a precursor to Françoise Sagan’s similarly themed Bonjour Tristesse.
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Francoise Mallet-Joris is the author of more than a dozen novels and biographies, including The Red Room and House of Lies. A member of the Academie Goncourt, she lives in Paris. Terry Castle writes frequently for the London Review of Books, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, and the New York Times Book Review. She lives in San Francisco.Language Notes:
Text: English, French (translation)
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Book Description Ayer Co Pub, 1975. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP77646657
Book Description Ayer Co Pub, 1975. Book Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP81462047