Regular price $15.95

Author: Sarrazin, Albertine

Edition: Reprint

Binding: Paperback

Number Of Pages: 192

Publisher: New Directions

Release Date: 26-04-2013

Details: Product Description As alive as a Godard movie, this lost classic of ’60s French literature is back As if the reader were riding shotgun, this intensely vivid novel captures a life on the lam. “L’astragale” is the French word for the ankle bone Albertine Sarrazin’s heroine Anne breaks as she leaps from her jail cell to freedom. As she drags herself down the road, away from the prison walls, she is rescued by Julien, himself a small-time criminal, who keeps her hidden. They fall in love. Fear of capture, memories of her prison cell, claustrophobia in her hideaways: every detail is fiercely felt. Astragal burst onto the French literary scene in 1965; its fiery and vivacious style was entirely new, and Sarrazin became a celebrity overnight. But as fate would have it, Sarrazin herself kept running into trouble with the law, even as she became a star. She died from a botched surgery at the height of her fame. Sarrazin’s life and work (her novels are semi-autobiographical) have been the subject of intense fascination in France; a new adaptation of Astragal is currently being filmed. Patti Smith, who brought Astragal to the attention of New Directions, contributes an enthusiastic introduction to one of her favorite writers. From Bookforum You can take the girl out of prison, but you can't take prison out of the girl. Anne, the nineteen-year-old narrator of Albertine Sarrazin's Astragal has liberated herself from "prison school" by jumping off a thirty-foot wall. Landing, she breaks her left ankle, but this injury may be less grievous than the lingering effects of her incarceration. She has a disturbing awareness that even now, on the outside, she is a creature of the institution. Eventually, her ankle having partially healed, Anne begins working as a prostitute and living on her own in a series of hotels. But her life still consists of waiting (for her boyfriend, for customers) and hiding (from the cops). Her agency, cramped by life both in and out of prison, is forced to reside in her impetuousness, her salutary arrogance, and, most significantly, in the way she frames her own experience—that is, in the prose we're reading, which is hard-boiled, funny, sometimes gross, oscillating between indolence and intensity, riddled with ellipses and exclamation points. It is wayward, hard to pin down; it can't be forced to behave. —Elizabeth Schambelan Review “The prose is hard-boiled, funny, sometimes gross, oscillating between indolence and intensity, riddled with ellipses and exclamation points. It is wayward, hard to pin down; it can’t be forced to behave. There are associative leaps, synesthetic flights, and characters introduced without preamble or identification. Sarrazin brooked no exposition, no laborious knitting of circumstance to circumstance. One might call her style stream-of-consciousness, but that modernist term fails to account for the impression of Pop hyperreality that communicates itself through her steady drumbeat of allusions.” - Bookforum “With Astragal’s English reissue and Patti Smith’s new introduction, there is the hope, perhaps slight, that Sarrazin will find a new audience and, with it, a new kind of freedom.” - Sara Freeman, The Brooklyn Rail “Sarrazin’s career may have been tragically curtailed, but her legacy is a novel that grateful readers are discovering now, almost 50 years after her death.” - Pop Matters “The story ― drawn from Sarrazin’s own life ― of Anne’s escape from prison, subsequent incapacitating ankle break (the book is named for the bone she snaps), and arduous recovery, is so alive with Anne’s voice that reading it, one wants simply to remain in her presence, to sit by her bedside as she squirms, frustrated, towards recovery. Anne makes good company.” - Full Stop “Smith's essay and Sarrazin's crackling and incandescent prose make Astragal a gift, a memento of a decade that was both rough and radical, yet full of potential, and the testament of two astonishing lives, one real, one fictive, both se

Package Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches

Languages: English