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Trysting by Emmanuelle Pagano

Trysting (original 2013; edition 2016)

by Emmanuelle Pagano (Author), Jennifer Higgins (Translator), Sophie Lewis (Translator)

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342505,581 (4.13)None
It s as though you had to know the password for our relationship . . . What is love? Why do some people make our hearts flutter, while others leave us cold? A seductive blend of Maggie Nelson and Marguerite Duras, Trysting seizes romance s slippery truths by letting us glimpse nearly 300 beguiling relationships: scenes between all genders and sexualities, including first dates, infidelities, dependencies, missed connections, bitter memories, and first passions. Proving that the erotic knows no bounds, almost anything can be a means of attraction: from amnesia and throat-clearing to sign language, earplugs, back hair, arthritis, PVC, and showers. Combining aphorisms, anecdotes, and adventures, Trysting is a tour de force that gives a new perspective on a question as old as humanity."… (more)
Authors:Emmanuelle Pagano (Author)
Other authors:Jennifer Higgins (Translator), Sophie Lewis (Translator)
Info:Two Lines Press (2016), Edition: Translation, 220 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:toberead, xx, french, shortstories, queer

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Trysting by Emmanuelle Pagano (2013)



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What is Love? It is a question which poets and philosophers have long enjoyed grappling with, but whose answer remains as elusive as ever. Even if we were to consider just one type of Love - that between lovers, between partners - its manifestations are incredibly varied. Every couple has its own love story.

Emmanuelle Pagano's "Trysting" was originally published in French as "Nouons-nous". It is now available in an English translation by Jennifer Higgins and Sophie Lewis, issued by independent publishers And Other Stories. Trysting is an exploration of romantic and erotic love presented in a series of poetic vignettes in which different narrators describe aspects of their relationship. Very few of the entries exceed one page, most consist of a short paragraph, some are just one-line aphorisms. The protagonists are ordinary people from all walks of life. Only once are we allowed to guess the identity of the narrator - and that turns out to be a historical figure, explorer Lady Franklin. Frankly, this exception jars - one of the most delightful aspects of Trysting is that the couples who people it could be us, or the spouses who live down the road.

This book is as hard to define as love itself. Is it a novel? A short story collection? An anthology of prose poetry? Flash fiction? Perhaps it could be considered a "mockumentary" or fictional "vox pop". Yet, despite the variety of the lifestories and feelings evoked (happiness, loss, parting, pleasure, desire, indecision, peace, comfort, pain) there is little attempt to differentiate the narrative style. It is as if the protagonists of the book whispered their secrets to the author and entrusted her to weave them into one poetic garland, rendered in the writer's own unmistakable voice.

This is a special book which, whilst recognising and describing the heartache relationships can cause, bravely celebrates the gloriously ordinary joys of Love. ( )
1 vote JosephCamilleri | Nov 26, 2016 |
I adore this little book! A series of short writings, from single lines to a couple of pages, on the subject of attraction, love, hurt, separation and loss. They perfectly capture the small often overlooked quirks of relationships that distinguish and cement them. While the characters in the passages differ, as you read through, later parts reflect and refract early ones. I gulped down the whole book in a single day, but it is equally good for dipping in and out of. Jennifer Higgens and Sophie Lewis' translation brings the writing perfectly into English with all its small beauty and good humour. Whether you call it vignettes, linked writings, prose poems, or uncategorisable, it is gorgeous and set to be my favourite book of 2016. ( )
  rrmmff2000 | Nov 3, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emmanuelle Paganoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Higgins, JenniferTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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