Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman

LinkI'm going to do something unusual today: I'm going to post a review of a book I read years ago, and can't get out of my head. I don't even have the book anymore. (I'm sorry I was eager to Bookcross it, though; I want it back.) So I write about it from memory--which may not be entirely accurate.

I Who Have Never Known Men
is a strange science fiction book about a girl who is abducted when she is very young, taken who-knows-where, and kept in a round caged area in a round room for years. There are others in the cage--all women at least twenty years older than the narrator. They are fed by male guards, but they have no contact with them. When the opportunity to escape comes, the women take it. Outside and free, they find that they have no idea where they are, and they wander their strange surroundings looking for other survivors of their strange situation.

It's a hard book to recommend, because it's not a happy book. At all. But it's beautiful, and I loved the language (for all that it was translated from French) and the story and the narrator. So even though it's not a book that leaves you feeling that all is right with the universe, I do recommend it. I think that you, too, will find it haunting you years later--and you will be glad you read it.

1 comment:

LisaMM said...

I never heard of this book but it sounds weirdly wonderful.. I am going to look for it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!