Swiss Literature Award 2023
L’Épouse by Anne-Sophie Subilia tells of life lived in its own separate world: that of a woman living alongside her husband, who is an ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) delegate in Palestine, with relationships in which she, as a stranger in the Gaza border region, always remains on the threshold – “a slight whiff of inactivity is in the air”.
Anne-Sophie Subilia writes carefully and does not try to impose on us a particular view of the wife, who is paraphrased rather than explored. We read the story of a woman in search of her place. The novel does not ascribe to her the role or the meaning she is looking for, but follows her development from a slightly distanced perspective in the blurred half-light. In this way, Anne-Sophie Subilia gives us the most valuable thing literature has to offer: a clear and considered mode of expression that is appropriate to the story it captures. For her protagonist, she creates a fragile language of sand in which the lines of a life yet to be invented are drawn.
Éditions Zoé, Chêne-Bourg
Translation rights: Laure Pécher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: BAK / Julien Chavaillaz