Emmanuelleby Emmanuelle Arsan Translated from French by Lowell Bair
“Lyrical and graphic . . . It’s not all salacious play-by-play. . . . The book’s argument reverberates beyond the erotic.” —Teddy Wayne, NPR
This now classic book of erotica is, alongside Story of O, the most famous French underground novel of the late twentieth century and a work of seductive literary merit. Written by the wife of a diplomat in the French Foreign Service, it takes the form of an autobiographical novel, which it may or may not be.
As the story opens, Emmanuelle is boarding a plane in London to rejoin her husband in Bangkok. She finds herself powerfully compelled by the overnight passenger seated beside her, and before she has landed, her irrepressible sensual nature has begun to open wide vistas of sexual possibility. As the novel continues, she moves easily from the waiting arms of her husband to intimacies with the wives of his business associates to further explorations and experiences in which the subtle aesthetics of eroticism are expounded—and enacted—to their fullest.
Emmanuelle, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since its initial clandestine publication in France, relates the movement of a woman from an unconscious to a profoundly conscious sexuality.
“This new edition reminds us how this revolutionary epic had an impact on the sexual liberation of women.” —Le Parisien Magazine
“Hedonistic, joyful and much more fresh than Fifty Shades of Grey.” —Marianne
“Emmanuelle writes nearly as well as the Divine Marquis, and shows the same penchant for philosophy as Sade.” —Le Nouvel Observateur
“An unrestrained erotic novel, replete with details of the author’s sexual experiences and erotic philosophy.” —Panorama (Italy)