“It’s as though you had to know the password for our relationship.”
Looks like Emmanuelle Pagano has got everyone’s password!
Translators Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins have done sterling work on the files.
And Other Stories has done it again with Trysting, which has had rave reviews in France and is the first of Emmanuelle Pagano’s books to be published in English. It is out next month in the US and UK.
Reading these micro-records of other people’s most intimate lives, I had to keep stopping and showing bits to my partner. Pagano captures the tiny nuances of falling in through and out of love. The relationships are incredibly varied, from the lesbians whose periods synchronise, to the Don Juan of the nursing home and his latest victim, to the woman who takes stalking one step further by learning everything about her man, simply moving in and convincing him she’s been there for years… These tiny fragments lead you to feel and imagine a much larger story.
None of them are more than a few pages long, but the shortest ones often pack the hardest punch. Here’s a handful:
We have never wept at the same time.
He wasn’t very good at using his mobile. He left me messages by accident, which were usually just the sound of him walking. I listened to them right to the end.
I was so happy to have her near me that I fell asleep for two days.
He seduced me by helping to heal a wound that I thought was already mended. I realised later that he always approaches women that way. He seeks the chink, finds it, opens it a little and pretends to seal it up again. in reality, he dives into the breach and makes it bigger.
She lives in a house by the sea, at the end of a road that floods at high tide. Twice a day, nature seals off her doors and swallows up her road. I can only go to see her at low tide.