Madeleine Bourdouxhe is one of the more remarkable literary discoveries of the last few years’ Jonathan Coe
These are stories of longing and dissatisfaction, of daily life ruptured by strange currents of feeling. A woman, wandering alone and heartbroken, is first attacked and then romantically pursued by a stranger. A maid wears her mistress’s expensive coat to meet her lover, but finds herself more preoccupied by fantasies of intimacy with ‘Madame’. A woman gives birth on the day foreign troops invade the city, and must flee with her newborn on the back of a truck.
Written in the aftermath of the Nazi occupation of Europe, and admired by the Existentialists and the Surrealists alike, these stories are now translated with extraordinary clarity by Faith Evans. With piercing insight and candour, Madeleine Bourdouxhe illuminates the conflicted hearts of the housewife, the mother, and the maid. These unforgettable tales of ordinary women are suffused with desire and melancholy, memory and fantasy, and lit by the furnace burning just beneath the surface of everyday life.