In Redemption French feminist writer Chantal Chawaf explores the dark paths of madness and sadism, where sexuality evokes cannibalism and vampirism. The language of the body and the body of language are stripped naked in Chawaf’s violently beautiful prose as she mounts this terrorist attack on the age-old theme of redemption through love.
The novel was partly inspired by the author’s visits to Canada and the United States over a period of six years. It is on this vast American continent, whose wild and tameless beauty Chawaf brilliantly evokes, that Charles de Roquemont, the protagonist of the novel, savagely kills his lover, Esther, in a fit of impotent madness. A few years later, back in Paris, Charles’s sexual instincts are reawakened by a screenwriter, Olga Vassilieff, whom he meets one sultry summer night in Monceau Park.
The plot, however, is not Chawaf’s only concern. As in her other novels, Chawaf manipulates, kneads, impales, and honeycombs her language to create a masterful allegory of her literary theories and linguistic concepts. The result is a novel that is both cerebral and sensual, both intellectual and visceral.