Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2019
In a world where we present our diverse selves through social media, chatbots and messaging, this dark novel listens in on intimate secrets, desires and adultery.
This novel-within-a-novel charts the writing of a story about Richard and Anna, a middle-aged professional couple, who face the biggest crisis of their twenty-five-year marriage when he admits seeing prostitutes. The text unfolds through a dialogue between Anna, the writer, and her husband, Richard, the reader.
As the story of Richard and Anna progresses, the tension between them increases and, on several occasions, they stop speaking to each other. The writer's novel compels them to examine their own marriage.
Gradually the differences between the characters in the novel on the one hand and the reader and the writer on the other appear to diminish to the point where we begin to wonder whether the reader, like Richard, pays for sex, and whether the writer, like her female protagonist, is coping with the situation by having several lovers.