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Marie Darrieussecq was born in 1969 in Bayonne, France. She is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Her debut novel, Pig Tales (1996), was published in 34 countries and became the most popular first novel in France since the 1950s. Her second novel, My Phantom Husband (1998), became an immediate bestseller. Her third novel, Breathing Underwater, prompted Francis Gilbert in The Times to declare that 'there are very few writers who may have changed my perception of the world, but Darrieussecq is one of them'. Her fourth novel, A Brief Stay with the Living, is published in June 2003.
Pig Tales is a brilliant satirical novel about a stunning young woman working in a beauty 'massage' parlour. She enjoys extraordinary success at bringing home the bacon (in part due to her increasingly rosy and irresistible backside) until she slowly metamorphoses - into a pig. Rejected by her boyfriend, left to wander the sewers and forage for food in public parks, she takes up with a werewolf with insatiable appetites. They share everything (pizza is a particular favourite; she gets the pizza, he gets the delivery boy) until someone alerts the authorities and tragedy strikes . . . Gender, politics and social hypocrisy all come under scrutiny in this entertaining and enlightening novel. Pig Tales is a Metamorphosis for the present day, a dark fable of political and sexual corruption, and a grim warning of what can happen in a society without a soul.
What would you think if your husband, one day, with no word of explanation or warning, vanished? When would you begin to panic - the first hour, the first night? A deceptively simple story about a deserted woman, My Phantom Husbandis Marie Darrieussecq's eerie follow-up to Pig Tales, showing her to be a writer of great subtlety and depth. When her husband goes to buy fresh bread and never returns, the young narrator's life changes for ever. Night after night she has to learn to be alone, to sleep alone, to live in a space she has shared with a man for seven years. Yet who was he, her husband, and did they really have much in common? Why can't she remember her love for him - or even what he looked like? Dragged into a world of visions, she is besieged by childhood terrors - monsters behind the furniture, vampires floating around in the dark, strangers walking in other rooms. She begins to see her husband, or an apparition of him. Is he a supernatural visitation or the product of madness - or a figment of her guilty conscience? My Phantom Husband is a profoundly unsettling parable about the way love appears and disappears, about the absences and evasions that can lie hidden in any relationship.
An in-depth look at the work and career of this fascinating artist, who is having a profound impact on contemporary painting Nigel Cooke is known for his complex paintings, which thematically explore the meeting point between creative labour, consciousness, art history, consumer culture, and nature. Primarily centred on meticulously painted, large-scale urban landscapes, which he calls 'hybrid theatrical spaces', Cooke's work employs disparate styles, often integrating trompe l'oeil miniature rocks and trees with backdrops of graffiti-marked buildings, to create scenes conveying obscure and macabre narratives. This survey of Cooke's career to date explores the artist's style, approach, and impact on contemporary art and includes his very latest works, completed shortly before publication.
It is 2015. Edmee and Pete are engineers on a remote research station in Antarctica. Both are running from tragic events at home. In this setting of magnificent desolation, just fifteen kilometres from the South Pole, a love affair begins to flourish - until there is a catastrophic power failure at the base . . .
Without telling her husband, a young woman drives off to the coast. She takes only her young daughter, and ten thousand francs. They spend the first night camping on the beach, and then rent an apartment in a small seaside town near the Spanish border. She is careful to leave no clues. But a detective is already looking for them, and he knows it will only be a matter of time before she makes a mistake . . . 'There are very few writers who may have changed my perception of the world, but Darrieussecq is one of them.' Francis Gilbert, The Times