by Anne Garréta

Translated by Emma Ramadan

Introduction by Daniel Levin Becker

Published by: Deep Vellum Publishing

152 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781941920091
  • Published: April 2015


Nominated for the 2016 PEN Translation Prize
One of Flavorwire's Top 50 Independent Books of 2015
One of Entropy Magazine's Best Fiction Books of 2015
One of Bookriot's 100 Must-Read Books Translated From French

Sphinx is the remarkable debut novel, originally published in 1986, by the incredibly talented and inventive French author Anne Garréta, one of the few female members of Oulipo, the influential and exclusive French experimental literary group whose mission is to create literature based on mathematical and linguistic restraints, and whose ranks include Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, among others.

A beautiful and complex love story between two characters, the narrator, "I," and their lover, A***, written without using any gender markers to refer to the main characters, Sphinx is a remarkable linguistic feat and paragon of experimental literature that has never been accomplished before or since in the strictly-gendered French language.

Sphinx is a landmark text in the feminist, LGBT, and experimental literary canons appearing in English for the first time.

Sphinx was the first book that I read that really got me fascinated with the intricacies in language. Reading Emma’s translator’s note in the book blew my mind away and gave me such a deep appreciation for the art of translation.”—Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Bookstore (Dallas, TX)

"The biggest surprise is Anne Garréta, whose novel Sphinx, first published in 1986, explores DJ culture, gender and sexual politics in Parisian nightclubs. The two main characters are the narrator and their lover A***, the sex or gender of neither of whom is given. Sphinx (available in Emma Ramadan’s 2015 English translation) is ahead of its time, a radical bridge between Kathy Acker, the “chemical generation” authors of the 90s, and emerging innovators such as this year’s Goldsmiths prize-nominated Isabel Waidner." -Tony White, The Guardian

“Verve, loss, mourning, death. All in a moment which come upon us. Perhaps we wouldn’t talk so much about this book if not for its feats. But its narrator driven to give tangibility and record to memory, too leaves a lasting image.” — More Bedside Books Blog