My Phantom Husband

by Marie Darrieussecq
Release date: 1999
Original title: Naissance des fantômes
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, mainstream
Tags: translation

The original novel was published in 1998.

What would you think if your husband, one day, with no word of explanation or warning, vanished? When would you begin to panic - the first hour, the first night?

A deceptively simple story about a deserted woman, My Phantom Husband is Marie Darrieussecq's eerie follow-up to Pig Tales, showing her to be a writer of great subtlety and depth. When her husband goes to buy fresh bread and never returns, the young narrator's life changes for ever. Night after night she has to learn to be alone, to sleep alone, to live in a space she has shared with a man for seven years. Yet who was he, her husband, and did they really have much in common? Why can't she remember her love for him - or even what he looked like? Dragged into a world of visions, she is besieged by childhood terrors - monsters behind the furniture, vampires floating around in the dark, strangers walking in other rooms. She begins to see her husband, or an apparition of him. Is he a supernatural visitation or the product of madness - or a figment of her guilty conscience? My Phantom Husband is a profoundly unsettling parable about the way love appears and disappears, about the absences and evasions that can lie hidden in any relationship.

updated 2016-08-13

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