The Collection | Granta

  • Published: 01/08/2019
  • ISBN: 9781846276866
  • 129x20mm
  • 160 pages

The Collection

Nina Leger

Translated by Laura Francis


Jeanne moves from room to room. In the anonymous hotel bedrooms of Paris – Hotel Agate, Hotel Prince Albert, Hotel Prince Monceau, Hotel Coypel, Hotel Nord & Champagne – she undresses man after man, forgetting faces, names, pleasures, thoughts, and all physical attributes but one. In her head, a palace of memories is being built, image by new image, lover by new lover.

There is no pathologizing Jeanne; she resists it. There is no way to impose a story on Jeanne; she escapes it. There is no pitying Jeanne, no lusting after Jeanne, no uncovering the secret to Jeanne; she won’t allow it. Jeanne moves from room to room.

[T]ranslator Laura Francis does a fine job of capturing Leger's poise and poetry... t's a reminder of how rare it still is to have a female gaze on the aesthetic aspects of sex... Leger's writing is doing something, detached, specific... Genuinely fresh


A sustained assault on the authority of the phallus. . . Like a flickering pornographic video breaking up into pixels, [Jeanne] dissolves before us. . . In being nobody in particular, she can be anybody. . . there is a serious argument here

Sunday Times

[The Collection is a] provocative novel...creating a new kind of sex writing, in the surreal shapes and syntax of a direct yet viscous, particulate prose. . . In Laura Francis's supple translation, Leger's novel challenges, mesmerises, and impresses... it knowingly complicates its genre, offering a tantalising glimpse of a female desire unburdened by the debt of explanation...daring, direct and richly imagined

Arts Desk

The Author

Nina Leger was born in 1988 in Antibes. Her first novel, Histoire naturelle, was published in 2014. Mise en pièces(published in English as The Collection), her second novel, won the Anaïs Nin Prize.

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The Translator

Laura Francis was born in Bristol in 1992. She studied in St Andrews, Paris and London, where she now lives. She translated Nina Leger’s novel Mise en pièces, published by Granta Books as The Collection. 

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Nina Leger on

Essays & Memoir | Granta Books

Nina Leger | Notes on Craft

Nina Leger

‘To say nothing about her was the only way to allow her to be everything.’