And My See-Through Heart | Granta

  • Published: 01/07/2010
  • ISBN: 9781846271823
  • 129x20mm
  • 256 pages

And My See-Through Heart

Véronique Ovaldé

Translated by Adriana Hunter

Do we ever really know the person we live with? This is a question that has tormented Lancelot since the sudden death of his wife. The night of the accident, they had said goodbye at the airport and Irina should have been in another country when she was found drowned, in someone else’s car, at the bottom of the local river. Lancelot is still numb from the shock when other facts begin to surface, each one more bewildering than the last. It seems that the woman he loved had a past – and a plan for the future – that he never even suspected …

There are echoes of Kurt Vonnegut and Milan Kundera in Ovalde's ability to take the most stressful events - death, depression and anxiety - and bring an obliquely discursive perspective to bear. The result is luminously engaging and delicately, comically uplifting


Véronique Ovaldé constructs a fictional universe in which the imagination soars ... There are writers who are carried away, and those, like Véronique Ovaldé, who carry you away

Marie Claire

Reminiscent of the work of near contemporary, Marie Darrieussecq, Ovaldé's fiction is ineffably French - her romantically inclined characters not quite of this world. An engaging story of bereavement and loss, playfully translated by Adriana Hunter

Emma Hagestadt, Independent on Sunday

The Author

Veronique Ovalde was born in 1972 and is the author of several novels including, in English, Kick the Animal Out and And My See-Through Heart. She has two children, works in publishing, and lives and writes in Paris.

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The Translator

Adriana Hunter has been working as a literary translator since 1998 and has now translated over 50 books from the French including, for Portobello Books, Véronique Ovaldé’s Kick the Animal Out (a finalist for The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize) and And My See-Through Heart. She has three children and lives in Norfolk.

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From the Same Author

Kick The Animal Out

Véronique Ovaldé, translated by Adriana Hunter

Fifteen-year-old Rose is trying to make sense of her world. Her mother – a beautiful woman with stiletto heels, bright clothes and the synthetic gleam of a blonde wig – has vanished, and Rose is convinced that she must be in danger. Unable to cope with the possibility of having been abandoned, Rose uses her vivid imagination to construct her own explanation for her mother’s disappearance. Her father suspiciously carries on with his life and seems to be in no hurry to contact the police. Coupled with Rose’s newfound knowledge that her father is not actually the ringleader of a circus, she begins to doubt that he is even her real father. As Rose pieces together snippets of remembered conversations and the half-truths she is fed by adults, her own story about her mother’s whereabouts grows ever more romantic, and ends up being just as difficult to accept as the truth.