Grove Press, 9780802130693, 224pp.
Publication Date: May 5, 1994
This now classic book of erotica is, alongside Story of O, the most famous French underground novel of the late twentieth century and a work of seductive literary merit. Written by the wife of a diplomat in the French Foreign Service, it takes the form of an autobiographical novel, which it may or may not be. As the story opens, Emmanuelle is boarding a plane in London to rejoin her husband in Bangkok. She finds herself powerfully compelled by the overnight passenger seated beside her, and before she has landed, her irrepressible sensual nature has begun to open wide vistas of sexual possibility. As the novel continues, she moves easily from the waiting arms of her husband to intimacies with the wives of his business associates to further explorations and experiences in which the subtle aesthetics of eroticism are expounded-and enacted-to their fullest. Emmanuelle, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since its initial clandestine publication in France, relates the movement of a woman from an unconscious to a profoundly conscious sexuality.