The Red Sofa
In The Red Sofa, we meet Anne, a young woman setting off on the Trans-Siberian Railway in order to find her former lover, Gyl, who left twenty years before. As the train moves across post-Soviet Russia and its devastated landscapes, Anne reflects on her past with Gyl and their patriotic struggles, as well as on the neighbor she has just left behind, Clémence Barrot.
Rocked by the train’s movements Anne is moved by her memory of Clémence, who is old and whose memory is failing, but who has not lost her taste for life and adventure. Ensconced on her red sofa at home, Clémence loves to tell Anne her life story, mourning lost loved ones and celebrating the lives of brave, rebellious women who went before her. Eventually, Anne’s train trip returns her home having not found Gyl, but having found something much more meaningful—herself.
‘At just over one hundred pages, this award winning novella is a small, quiet, perfect book—one that touches at the very heart of what it feels like to be adrift in life, to be searching for answers to questions one cannot articulate. [ . . . ] It somehow feels right to read it now with its evocative tribute to the space—mental and emotional—afforded by travel, at a time when travel is on hold for the foreseeable future.’—J. M. Schreiber, roughghosts. Read the full review here.
‘A luminous novel about desire, a clear text about the joy of living.’—Prix Pierre Mac Orlan, 2007
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