I rescued this from the Amnesty Bookshop – the cover was hanging off and it had been cast on the pile destined for pulping. I picked it out because I remember Colette being referenced a lot by Erica Jong in ‘Fear of Flying’ and also by a Tama Janowitz character, though I can’t remember which.
(finished reading on 21/05/2009)
This rescued book, it turns out, was actually two books, Gigi and The Cat. I didn’t particularly enjoy Gigi, but The Cat I liked a lot. The descriptions by the main character of his feelings related to being trapped in a relationship against his (feline) nature and opposing this, his relationship with his cat (as his wife Camille puts it, when trying to put her finger on how his relationship with his pet differs from other people’s: ‘But you’re quite different. You love Saha’).
The painful attempts Camille makes at becoming desirable to her husband, in a rival way to Saha and the embarrassing way he notices and recounts them to the reader are brilliantly observed. The descriptions of summertime in Paris are lovely too, I felt I was there. I was French for a little while.