When he’s called to bless a body at the nearby asylum, Father Gabriel also receives a strange demand: steal the diaries that will be hidden under the dead woman’s dress. Within them, he finds Rose’s haunting – and somehow still unfinished – story. Timed for Halloween season, Franck Bouysse’s Born of No Woman (Other Press Paperback Original, On Sale: October 19, 2021) is at once an astounding work of gothic horror, an indictment of class and power divides, and an examination of the limits of forgiveness and familial love. It garnered high praise and literary awards when originally published in France, including the Elle Readers’ Grand Prize, the Booksellers’ Prize, and the Prix Babelio.
Before Rose’s fifteenth birthday, her father sells her, without warning or farewell, to a stranger who takes her to his vast castle in the middle of the woods. She’s forced to cook and clean for this man she must now call ‘master’, as well as his elderly mother and mysteriously absent wife. Soon the depraved natures of Rose’s capturers come to light in a horrifying act of violence. Fighting with an inner strength she didn’t know she possessed, Rose tries to piece together her new reality, and realizes she’s been put into the center of a twisted plan.
Born of No Woman is perfect for fans of Rebecca and Flowers in the Attic. Bouysse’s incredible gift for prose will have readers enduring everything alongside Rose: the brutality at the hands of her capturers, her escape attempts, and, eventually, her years at the asylum. At its core, Born of No Woman is an exploration of humankind’s most basic instincts – to survive, to reproduce, to protect one’s kin – and why they bring out compassion in some but barbarity in others. It asks, when evil is inevitably done, how should blame be shared between the perpetrators, and the ones who stand idly by?
Switching between characters and across time, Born of No Woman is driven by a gripping sense of dread that culminates in a satisfying conclusion. As Bouysse navigates the complexities of desire, abuse, compassion, and resilience for these peasants and their masters in 19th-century France, he has penned a timeless portrait of human nature left to fester unseen.
About the Author: Franck Bouysse was born in France in 1965. He began his writing career in 2007 after working as a biology teacher. Born of No Woman has won numerous literary prizes in France, including the Elle Readers’ Grand Prize, the Booksellers’ Prize, and the Prix Babelio. Born of No Woman is his first novel to be published in English.
Born of No Woman: A Novel
By Franck Bouysse | Translated by Lara Vergnaud
Other Press Paperback Original | On Sale October 19, 2021
Price: $17.99 |ISBN: 978-1-63542-022-7