In Concrete

(Author) (Translator)

Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Deep Vellum Publishing
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author

Anne F. Garréta is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, received her License de Lettres at the Université Paris 4 (Sorbonne), her Maitrise and her D.E.A at the Université Paris 7 (Diderot), and a PhD at New York University. The author of six novels, Garréta was coopted to the Oulipo in 2000. Her first novel, Sphinx (1986), which caused a sensation when Deep Vellum published its first English translation in 2015, tells a love story between two people without giving any indication of grammatical gender for the narrator or their lover. She won France's prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002 and the Albertine Prize in 2018 for her book, Not One Day, which was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Garréta teaches regularly in France at the Université Rennes 2, and more recently at Paris 7 (Diderot), and is a professor at Duke University.

Emma Ramadan is a literary translator of poetry and prose from France, the Middle East, and North Africa. She is the recipient of a Fulbright, an NEA Translation Fellowship, a PEN/Heim grant, and the 2018 Albertine Prize. Her translations for Deep Vellum include Anne Garréta's Sphinx and Not One Day, Fouad Laroui's The Curious Case of Dassoukine's Trousers, and Brice Matthieussent's Revenge of the Translator. She is based in Providence, RI, where she co-owns Riffraff bookstore and bar.


Recipient of the 2020 Hemingway Grant by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

"Oulipo member Garréta's wonderfully strange latest (after Not One Day) chronicles the misfortunes that befall a family after the father receives a concrete mixer for his birthday... Ramadan, winner of the PEN Translation Prize, makes each of the pages sing. Fans of experimental fiction will find this delightful." -Publishers Weekly

"Through a unique writing style where spelling mistakes coexist with onomatopoeias and saucy allusions, the border between spoken and written language gradually ceases to exist." --The Cultural Services of the French Embassy Praise for SphinxOne of Flavorwire's Top 50 Independent Books of 2015
One of Entropy Magazine's Best Fiction Books of 2015
One of Bookriot's 100 Must-Read Books Translated From French
One of FSG editor Jackson Howard's favorite books of 2018 on FSG's blog Work in Progress

"The set-up is such a classic, relatable tale of falling in -- and out -- of love that one wonders why gender has always been such a huge factor in how we discuss relationships, in fiction and otherwise. . . . So, the author, and the translator, created their own language, championing love and desire over power and difference." -- Maddie Crum, Huffington Post

"Garréta's aim was to overthrow gender binaries carried by language, and in light of recent demands by transgender groups to use gender neutral pronouns, Sphinx seems curiously prescient." -- Catherine Humble, The Times Literary Supplement (TLS)

"...Sphinx highlights the already limiting nature of language when it comes to matters of gender, and of love." -- Stephanie Hayes, The Atlantic

"The strength of [Sphinx] lies in its philosophical eloquence . . . Take away gender and race from the book, and what's left? Love, viewed as a nihilistic transcendence . . . considerably more than a language game." -- Adam Mars-Jones, London Review of Books