Summer readings with
The Second Woman
The Second Woman by Louise Mey. English translation. Cover design by Louise Cand. © Louise Rogers Lalaurie 2021. First published in English by Pushkin Vertigo, an imprint of Pushkin Press, in 2021
A psychological thriller on the theme of domestic abuse. Mey builds a suspenseful narrative as Sandrine, who is very insecure, falls for a man whose wife has mysteriously vanished. When his wife, ‘the first woman’, reappears, Sandrine is forced to confront the reality of her life and her choices. This is a page-turner with an important message at its heart.
Annie Ernaux, Simple Passion, Fitzcarraldo Editions, Londres, 2021. Copyright © Annie Ernaux, 1991. Traduction copyright © Tanya Leslie, 1993.
Simple Passion is a brief, intense testimony of desire and loss; it is a contemporary French masterpiece. The narrator documents with ruthless honesty her thoughts and sensations as she conducts a two-year affair with a married man. Like much of Ernaux’s work, it blurs the boundaries between fiction and autobiography, allowing the reader an intense emotional connection with the narrator’s experience.
In Defence of Witches:Why Women Are Still on Trial
Mona Chollet, In Defence of Witches: Why Women Are Still on Trial, Translated by Sophie R. Lewis. Copyright © 2018 by Mona Chollet. English translation copyright © 2022 by Sophie R. Lewis. Foreword copyright © 2022 by Carmen Maria Machado. Reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press. All Rights Reserved.
Mona Chollet, Sorcières : La puissance invaincue des femmes, © Zones, 2018. Design graphique : deValence, Paris.
A lively reclamation of the idea of the ‘witch’ as a timeless symbol of female independence. The book draws on the work of philosophers and poets like Simone de Beauvoir and Adrienne Rich, but also on pop culture and Chollet’s own experience. A thought-provoking book about what it takes to negotiate the task of being a woman in the world.
The Ungrateful Refugee:
What Immigrants Never Tell You
Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You, © First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd, 2019.
When she was eight years old Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother, living at first in an Italian hotel-turned-refugee camp. This important book tells her own story and those of many others who left their homes seeking peace: a testament to hope and love, this book both inspires and challenges the reader.