CLAS­SIC

ASTRAGAL Al­ber­tine Sar­razin, with in­tro­duc­tion by Patti Smith, Ser­pent’s Tail $19.99

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - BOOKS -

In 1968, Patti Smith bought a copy of Al­ber­tine Sar­razin’s 1965 novel, Astragal, with her last dol­lar. Af­ter car­ry­ing it on tours around the world and through mar­riage, births and deaths, Smith has sup­plied the in­tro­duc­tion for a new re­lease of the Patsy South­gate trans­la­tion.

Writ­ten from prison by Sar­razin be­fore her death at 29, Astragal is told in the in­sis­tent, fierce voice of Anne, who escapes from prison with help from a like-minded passerby named Julien. The two fall in love, liv­ing in be­tween the thrill of crime and the con­stant threat of cap­ture.

Strongly au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal, and writ­ten in a dream­like, breath­less reel, Astragal holds within it a sense of a gen­er­a­tion awak­en­ing, caught be­tween dif­fer­ent forms of both lib­er­a­tion and in­car­cer­a­tion. A clas­sic.

MAR­GOT LLOYD ★★★★★

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