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Sphinx is the remarkable debut novel, originally published in 1986, by the incredibly talented and inventive French author Anne Garréta, one of the few female members of Oulipo, the influential and exclusive French experimental literary group whose mission is to create literature based on mathematical and linguistic restraints, and whose ranks include Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, among others.

A beautiful and complex love story between two characters, the narrator, "I," and their lover, A***, written without using any gender markers to refer to the main characters, Sphinx is a remarkable linguistic feat and paragon of experimental literature that has never been accomplished before or since in the strictly-gendered French language.

Sphinx is a landmark text in the feminist and LGBT literary canon appearing in English for the first time.

Anne Garréta (b. 1962) is a lecturer at the University of Rennes II and research professor of literature and Romance studies at Duke University. She joined the Oulipo in 2000, becoming the first member to join born after the Oulipo was founded. Garréta won France's prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002, awarded each year to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent," for her novel Pas un jour.

Emma Ramadan is a graduate of Brown University and received her master's in literary translation from the American University of Paris. Her translation of Anne Parian's Monospace is forthcoming from La Presse. She is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship for literary translation in Morocco.

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About the author

Anne F. Garréta is the first member of the Oulipo to be born after the founding of the Oulipo. A normalien (graduate of France’s prestigious École normale supérieure) and lecturer at the University of Rennes II since 1995, Anne F. Garréta was co-opted into the Oulipo in April 2000. She also teaches at Duke University as a Research Professor of Literature and Romance Studies. Her first novel, Sphinx (Grasset, 1986), hailed by critics, tells a love story between two people without giving any indication of grammatical gender for the narrator or the narrator’s love interest, A***. Her second novel, Ciels liquides (Grasset, 1990), told the fate of a character losing the use of language. In La Décomposition (Grasset, 1999) , a serial killer methodically murdered characters from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. She met Oulipian Jacques Roubaud in Vienna in 1993, and was invited to present her work at an Oulipo seminar in March 1994 and again in May 2000, which led to her joining the Oulipo. She won France’s prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002, awarded each year to an author whose “fame does not yet match their talent” (she is the second Oulipian to win the award–-Georges Perec won in 1978), for her latest novel, Pas un jour (Grasset, 2002).

Emma Ramadan is a graduate of Brown University, and received her Master's in Literary Translation from the American University of Paris. Her translation of Anne Parian's Monospace is forthcoming from La Presse. She is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship for literary translation in Morocco.
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Deep Vellum Publishing
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Published on
Mar 16, 2015
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Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Humorous / Black Humor
Fiction / LGBT / Lesbian
Fiction / Literary
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New Adult novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content.

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The Gravity Between Us is a daring, romantic, emotional story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to be yourself in a crazy world.

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