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