Enchanting stories of women's inner lives by the rediscovered Belgian author Madeleine Bourdouxhe
The seven stories in A Nail, A Rose
confirm Madeleine Bourdouxhe's status as an under-appreciated master of the form. Like her critically lauded novels Marie
and La Femme de Giles
, these stories tunnel into the conflicted hearts of their female characters in fluid, beautiful prose.
These are stories of longing and dissatisfaction, of mundane lives ruptured by strange currents of feeling. A woman, wandering alone and heartbroken, is first attacked and then romantically pursued by a stranger, who returns to her house to offer her gifts. A maid wears her mistress's expensive coat to meet her lover, but finds herself more preoccupied with fantasies of intimacy with her mistress. With piercing insight and candour, Bourdouxhe offers seven unforgettable portraits of the expansive inner lives of ordinary women.