"Astragal" by Albertine Sarrazin: A Review
Albertine Sarrazin was an enigmatic outsider who had spent time in jail and who wrote only two novels and a book of poems in her short life - she died at the age of just twenty-nine.
Astragal tells the story of Anne, a young woman who breaks her ankle in a daring escape from prison. She makes it to a highway where she's picked up by a motorcyclist, Julien, who's also on the run. As they travel through nights and days together, they fall in love and must do whatever they can to survive, living their lives always on the edge of danger. A bewitching and timeless novel of youthful rebellion and romance, this new edition of Patsy Southgate's original translation includes an introduction by Patti Smith.
Patsy Southgate has done an impeccable job with the translation here - the novel reads naturally in English, but Southgate has managed to retain many of the features of Sarrazin's original writing style. This is a great example of French fiction in translation and is hugely popular, with an on-screen version recently released in France.