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Violette Leduc (1907-1972) has been referred to as "France's greatest unknown writer." Admired by Jean Genet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Albert Camus, Leduc was championed by Simone de Beauvoir when she published her scandalous autobiography La Batarde (1964). Like Therese and Isabelle, many of her audacious novels are largely inspired by her life.

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Thérèse and Isabelle

Violette Leduc

Translated by Sophie Lewis. Afterword by Michael Lucey.

Thérèse and Isabelle is the tale of two boarding school girls in love. In 1966 when it was originally published in France, the text was censored because of its explicit depiction of young homosexuality. With this publication, the original, unexpurgated text--a stunning literary portrayal of female desire and sexuality--is available to a US audience for the first time. Included is an afterword by Michael Lucey, professor of French and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

"This is all the raw urgency of female adolescent sexuality: its energy and intensity, the push-pull of excitement, its dangers and glories, building to a coming explosion."

—Kate Millett, author of Mother Millett

"Read it in one sitting... Literally breathless. This first-person torch song for 'the pink brute' reminds us why French schoolgirls are the emblem for naughty passions as literary classics."

—Sarah Schulman, author of The Gentrification of the Mind

"School-aged, yet sage in their desires, Thérèse and Isabelle called forth an endless night--a dark and delicate space for them to explore the complexity of their love. I have waited a very long time to slip back into the unexpurgated, delicious darkness with these iconic lesbian lovers."

—Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life

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