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Arcadia

Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam, Ruth Diver (Translated by)

Paperback

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Description

An English-language debut that reveals and subverts contemporary conceptions of normative sexuality, capitalist culture, and environmental degradation.

Winner, Prix du Livre Inter, 2019
Shortlisted for the Prix Femina, Prix Medicis, Prix de Flore
Longlisted for the Prix France-Culture, Prix Wepler

Farah moves into Liberty House--an arcadia, a community in harmony with nature--at the tender age of six, with her family. The commune's spiritual leader, Arcady, preaches equality, non-violence, anti-speciesism, free love, and uninhibited desire for all, regardless of gender, age, looks, or ability. On her fifteenth birthday, Farah learns she is intersex, and begins to question the confines of gender, and the hypocritical principles those within and outside the confraternity live by. What, Farah asks, is a man or a woman? What is it to be part of a community? What is the endgame for a utopia that exists alongside refugees seeking shelter by the millions and in a society moving ever farther away from nature and its protections. As Liberty House devolves into a dystopia amidst charges of sexual abuse, it starts to look a lot like the larger world, confused in its fears and selfish hedonism.
     Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam delivers a magisterial novel, a scathing critique of innocence in the contemporary world.

"Subversive, funny, political, erudite, Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam confirms with Arcadie that she is one of the most astonishing female novelists of our time." --Les Inrockuptibles


Praise For Arcadia

“A fantastic journey to a world where sex and gender binary differences and the distinctions between the normal and the pathological dissolve and transmute not without risk. Using a language full of humor and subtlety, Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam manages to capture the contradictions and complexities of the period we live in at the end of a political regime where new configurations of subjectivity, belonging, love and kinship are still taking shape but are not yet fully recognized. Moving and illuminating.” —Paul B. Preciado, author of An Apartment on Uranus

Seven Stories Press, 9781644210536, 416pp.

Publication Date: May 11, 2021



About the Author

EMMANUELLE BAYAMACK-TAM was born in 1966 in Marseille. She has published twelve novels and two plays with P.O.L Editeur, three, under the pseudonym Rebecca Lighieri. She is a founding member of the interdisciplinary association Autres et Pareils and co-director of Éditions Contre-Pied. Arcadia, her first book in translation, won the Prix du Livre Inter; was shortlisted for the Prix Femina, Prix Médicis, and Prix de Flore; and longlisted for the Prix France-Culture and Prix Wepler. She lives in Paris. RUTH DIVER has translated works by several of France's leading contemporary novelists, including The Little Girl on the Ice Floe by Adélaïde Bon, The Revolt by Clara Dupont-Monod, and A Respectable Occupation by Julia Kerninon. Her translation of Maraudes by Sophie Pujas won the 2016 Asymptote Close Approximations Fiction Prize.