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The Illusionist


By: Françoise Mallet-Joris
Introduction by: Terry Castle

Price: CAD $21.95

Publisher: Cleis Press

Imprint: Cleis Press

264 Pages

8 X 5.25 ins

ISBN:  9781573442534 -- Paperback

Publication Date: 08/11/2006

Bored and lonely, 15-year-old Hélène decides to pay a visit to her father?s mistress. Within days, she is captivated by Tamara, a Russian émigré whose arts of enchantment include lingering kisses, sudden dismissals, and savage, rapturous reunions. As long as she submits to Tamara, Hélène is permitted to stay near her: reading forbidden novels, meeting Tamara?s bohemian friends, and learning more "refinements of depravity" than the gossiping matrons of her provincial French town could imagine existed. Flemish writer Françoise Mallet-Joris was 20 years old in 1951 when her first novel, Le Rempart des Beguines - published in English as The Illusionist - created a sensation in France. This contemplative, beautifully written book, with its dark undercurrents of desire, has its origins in Madame Bovary and the novels of Colette, and was a precursor to Françoise Sagan?s similarly themed Bonjour Tristesse.



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