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Possessions (Littérature Française)
This sequel to Julia Kristeva's celebrated allegory The Old Man and the Wolves returns to the corrupt seaside resort of a mythical town, where the boundaries between East and West, civilization and barbarism, and good and evil are erased. Part mystery, part meditation, this engrossing tale features the return of Parisian amateur detective and newspaper reporter Stephanie Delacour (Kristeva's alter ego), drawn into the mystery of a friend's murder. The story opens with the gruesome discovery of the decapitated body of gifted translator Gloria Harrison. Delacour finds herself participating in the investigation in the company of Detective Superintendent Northrup Rilsky. As the mystery unfolds, Delacour veers away from Rilsky's investigation, on to a trail that leads to the real killer. Kristeva uses the classic thriller genre to animate the themes that run through her work as a linguist and philosopher. While Stephanie Delacour probes a brilliant gallery of suspects, we read between the lines some of the sorrows and dilemmas that are the focus of Kristeva's own life and work: motherhood and the complex relationship between mother and child; art and music; psychoanalysis; mourning and melancholia; language; the powers of horror; and the hostility aroused by a competent, gifted, and attractive woman who is at once devotedly maternal and capable of sexual passion.
Publication Date: 1996