Night Without Day

Raphaele Billetdoux, Author, Marie Billetdoux, Author Viking Books $14.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-670-81301-8
Much of the intensity of Billetdoux's fifth novel, winner of the Renaudot Prize, comes from the rich sensuousness of its language. It is a brief, claustrophobic tale of passion with a stunning shocker of a conclusion. A chance encounter between Lucas and Blanche at the Norman beach resort of Cabourg (where Proust did some of his writing) leads them ineluctably to a three-day love affair in a hotel room. Feasting on delicacies and each other, they inventory their lives; ""They lived the hours as husband and wife live the years.'' Lucas is a student working on a thesis that examines the paradoxes and intricacies of language. Blanche is the artist: a violinist and chanteuse, she hopes her engagement at this hotel will be a breakthrough in her career. Lucas understands that his role in their intimacy has enhanced and refined Blanche's talent; the point is made that art must be sustained by desire. Billetdoux is adept at exploring the minutiae of erotic obsessionthe tender gestures of lovers, the effect on them of their surroundings during a torrid July and the way memory feeds their mutual responsiveness and determines their fates. (November 10)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next