Sphinx

(Author) (Translator)
& 1 more
Available

Product Details

Price
$14.95  $13.90
Publisher
Deep Vellum Publishing
Publish Date
Pages
152
Dimensions
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781941920091

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About the Author

Anne F. Garréta is the first member of the Oulipo to be born after the founding of the Oulipo. A normalien (graduate of France's prestigious École normale supérieure) and lecturer at the University of Rennes II since 1995, Anne F. Garréta was co-opted into the Oulipo in April 2000. She also teaches at Duke University as a Research Professor of Literature and Romance Studies. Her first novel, Sphinx (Grasset, 1986), hailed by critics, tells a love story between two people without giving any indication of grammatical gender for the narrator or the narrator's love interest, A***. Her second novel, Ciels liquides (Grasset, 1990), told the fate of a character losing the use of language. In La Décomposition (Grasset, 1999), a serial killer methodically murdered characters from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. She met Oulipian Jacques Roubaud in Vienna in 1993, and was invited to present her work at an Oulipo seminar in March 1994 and again in May 2000, which led to her joining the Oulipo. She won France's prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002, awarded each year to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent" (she is the second Oulipian to win the award--Georges Perec won in 1978), for her latest novel, Pas un jour (Grasset, 2002).

Emma Ramadan is a graduate of Brown University, and received her Master's in Literary Translation from the American University of Paris. Her translation of Anne Parian's Monospace is forthcoming from La Presse. She is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship for literary translation in Morocco.

Reviews

"A dark, pulsing romance, tortured and thrilling and sexy, breaking open our preconceived notions of love and writing."--Sarah Gerard, Books Are Magic Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)

"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

"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

"In this sense, just as the novel is genderless, it is also genderfull . . . Garréta finds endless shades of in between and out of bounds, her characters taking shapes no other text before--or since--has imagined." -- Lauren Elkin, Bookforum

"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)

"[Garreta's] been called influential and groundbreaking, and with this, her first translation into English, it is easy to see why. Sphinx is an important contribution to queer literature--fascinating, intelligent, and very welcome." --Lambda Literary

"Sphinx challenges automatisms, identification mechanisms, and the urgent need for gender categorization. The absence of linguistic gender acts as a mirror reflecting back the reader's projections." -- Gaëlle Cogan, Kenyon Review

"Sphinx is an almost effortlessly readable, atmospheric love story, like a Marguerite Duras novel starring a pair of genderless paramours who haunt the after-hours clubs and cabarets of Paris. The conceit is so simple and so potent that it's impossible to get too far without pondering big questions about the role gender plays in the way we think about love in literature -- and in life." -- Flavorwire Staff Pick by editor-in-chief Judy Berman

"For Garréta, it just may be possible then that the body occupies the space of language as powerfully as its capacity to produce it." -- Tyler Curtis, BOMB Magazine

"Sphinx is a novel of passion and loss that transcends gender and speaks to the universality of desire and loss, morality, spiritual crisis and the need to connect and belong. It's also a novel that captivates and propels the reader to question the boundaries of desire and memory--and which one ultimately holds us captive." -- Monica Carter, Three Percent

"A unique novel, Sphinx succeeds in telling a love story without names or genders, allowing the reader to interpret the novel however they wish. Set in Paris and calling to mind the work of James Baldwin, this both feminist and LGBT book is deeply evocative in its word usage as it celebrates love without the constraints of gender." -- World Literature Today

"I must start by saying that I simply devoured this book. Its romp through seamy Paris nightclubs; its exacting portrait of a passionate affair; and its exploration of both mileus with a deft mixture of immediacy and intellectual detachment had me absolutely obsessed with it -- I just had to know what was happening next."? -- Miriam Bridenne, Albertine Books, "4 French Women Writers To Discover This Summer!"

"A powerfully compelling narrative." -- Tobias Carr