Indelicacy

Cain, Amina

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FINALIST FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION'S FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

"Cain's small but mighty novel reads like a ghost story and packs the punch of a feminist classic." -The New York Times Book Review

A haunted feminist fable, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is the story of a woman navigating between gender and class roles to empower herself and fulfill her dreams.

In "a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch" (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings around her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the time and security to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained.

Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor-social and erotic-but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?

Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one's true calling.

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