An Impossible Love


Translated from by

Published: Coming December 14, 2021


ISBN: 9781953861047 eISBN: 9781953861054
This item will be released on December 14, 2021.


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Book Description

Reaching back into a world before she was born, Christine Angot describes the inevitable encounter of two young people at a social ball in the early 1950s: Rachel and Pierre, her mother and father. Their love is unusually acute. It twists around Pierre’s decisive judgments about class, nationalism, and beauty, and winds its way towards dissolution and Christine’s own birth. Though it’s Pierre whose ideas are most often voiced, it’s Rachel who slowly comes into view, her determination and patience forming a radiant, enigmatic disposition. Equal parts subtle and suspenseful, An Impossible Love is an unwavering advance towards a brutal sequence of events that mars both Christine’s and Rachel’s lives. Angot the author carves Angot the narrator from this corrosive element, conveying an unmendable rupture, and at the same time offering a portrait of a striking, ineradicable bond between mother and daughter.

Christine Angot, who despises proper sentiment, has a fascinating, exhilarating, dazzling sensitivity.
Yann Moix, Le Figaro littéraire

I was enthralled by An Impossible Love from the first page to the last. Christine Angot brilliantly traces the minute fluctuations of emotion in her trio of characters, as well as the evasions, omissions and deceptions implicit in every kind of love. A daring and impressive performance.
Lynne Sharon Schwartz

An illuminating account of a mother and daughter's complicated love.
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Incest

A formally daring and passionate performance of the depths of human self-loathing, and the sufferings of attachment. It cut deep inside me with its truths. In every moment of reading it, I both wanted to keep reading it and wanted to write. I don’t think I will ever forget this book.
Sheila Heti

A maximalist in the art of emotion, Angot unmasks with frightening precision the roiling heart and the sharp edges of lust, loathing, and scorn lodged within love's fossil record. This is a book that points you toward the subterranean roots of your own emotions, the intricacies and murk we cover up in the name of normal daily operations.
Alexandra Kleeman

At times reminiscent of playwright Sarah Kane, particularly in her incantatory free associations... Incest is remarkably prescient. Christine Angot pinpoints how technology antagonizes mental health; how a lack of immediate reply can give the obsessive mind no room to breath.
Rebecca Watson, The Times Literary Supplement

A sensation in France, [Incest is a] novel in the form of a wild confession of a life filled with trauma.
The New York Times

Given Angot’s antagonism toward conventional syntax, the English translation, by Tess Lewis, is a feat of perspicuity... When L’Inceste was first published, an interviewer asked Angot what she hoped to achieve. “My ambition is to be unmanageable,” she said. “That people swallow me and at the same time cannot digest me."
H. C. Wilentz, The New Yorker

Angot’s writing reclaims the confession as a radical act — spiritual, even... At its core, Incest is a true testament to the subversive power of literature, in that it transmutes the violation of incest into connection with the reader.
Elizabeth Baird, The Millions