- Published: 07/07/2022
- ISBN: 9781783787883
- Granta Books
- 336 pages
Frances is a young graduate student spending a summer volunteering in rural France, in the hope that tending vegetables and harvesting honey will distract her from a scandal that drove her out of Paris, her research unfinished and her sense of self unmoored.
At the eco-farm Noa Noa, named for his adventures in Tahiti, she comes under the influence of its charismatic and domineering owner, Paul. As his hold over her tightens and her plans come unstuck, she finds herself entangled in a strange, uneven relationship. On a fraught road trip across the South of France, both are forced to reckon with uncomfortable truths.
A compelling and perturbing story of power, passivity and the cage of being ‘good’, Paul introduces a novelist of extraordinary perspicacity and lyricism.
I cherished this moreish, dreamy, hazy novel... I know I will return many times to inhabit the world Lafarge has written so exquisitely
Crisp and elegant, the sentences both vivid and precise... With an intelligence lightly worn, this is an immersive, maddening, unsettling read
Sean Hewitt, Irish Times
Daisy Lafarge's debut is a force to be reckoned with: all sinewy prose and sharp compulsion, with deep insight about the choreography of power and its eerie, unsettling flavor. As she pulls on the loose threads of the male artist's mythos, more unravels than mere secrets
Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun
From the Same Author
Life Without Air
SHORTLISTED FOR THE TS ELIOT PRIZE FOR POETRY 2020
“Whip-smart, sonically gorgeous” – Rae Armantrout, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Versed
When Louis Pasteur observed the process of fermentation, he noted that, while most organisms perished from lack of oxygen, some were able to thrive as ‘life without air’. In this capricious, dreamlike collection, characters and scenes traverse states of airlessness, from suffocating relationships and institutions, to toxic environments and ecstatic asphyxiations.
Both compassionate and ecologically nuanced, this innovative collection bridges poetry and prose to interrogate the conditions necessary for survival.
Daisy Lafarge on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
Best Book of 1998: Symbiotic Planet
‘Symbiogenesis is horizontal and anarchic, a frenzy of illicit fusions and mergers – energies coming together for mutual benefit.’
Daisy Lafarge on the best book of 1998.
In Conversation | The Online Edition
‘The earliest life on the planet was life without air, anaerobic bacteria that slowly died off when oxygen began to pollute the atmosphere’.
Granta Books Writing | The Online Edition
‘The poor dish looks just like me.’