Your attention will be captured from the very first sentence as you are introduced to our mysterious and engaging narrator, who longs to write. It's a book about choices and finding fulfillment. Written in hauntingly quiet and elegant prose, this deceptively slender book is my book find of the year to date! Recommended By Sheila N., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A ghostly feminist fable about finding the freedom to live as one desires
In "a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch" (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings that surround her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the security and time to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man sympathetic to her "hobby," but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor — social and erotic — but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps a more drastic solution is necessary?
Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one's true calling.
"Indelicacy is a novel like the tolling of a great bell. It will move your heart. Amina Cain's writing is the rarest kind: it creates not only new scenes and characters, but new feelings." Sofia Samatar, author of Winged Histories
"Amina Cain redefines strangeness and freedom in this beautiful and unusual novel that resembles fairy tales and ghost stories but feels intensely contemporary." Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice
"A sort of ghostly arthouse Cinderella... Cain's prose vibrates with fear and wonder. This is a novel I read three times slowly, basking in each phrase." Nate McNamara, Literary Hub
"Indelicacy... is a work of feminist existentialism, or existentialist feminism — searching, like Lispector, and lucid, like Camus." Martin Riker, The Paris Review Daily
"Eyebrow raising, tantalizing, and unforgettable... Indelicacy makes you think about creativity, friendship, and the nature of time... It transported me to a different part of my life." Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times Book Review
"Amina Cain is a beautiful writer. Like the girl in the rearview mirror in your backseat, quiet, looking out the window half smiling, then not, then glancing at you, curious to her. That is how her thoughts and words make me feel, like clouds hanging with jets, and knowing love is pure." Thurston Moore
About the Author
Amina Cain is the author of two collections of short fiction, Creature and I Go to Some Hollow. Her essays and short stories have appeared in n+1, The Paris Review Daily, BOMB, Full Stop, Vice, the Believer Logger, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles and is a contributing editor at BOMB.