The narrator evolves in the contemporary queer milieu of Parisian bars and nights, where they meets their friends. They lives on the eighteenth floor of a building, in an apartment whose every room is invaded by ever-growing plants and trees. By day, they works as a receptionist, capitalizing on their apparent femininity. One evening in a café, they meets an English-speaking man who genders himself in the masculine gender and regularly comes to Paris for his work as a composer. This is the beginning of a complex relationship between two feminist cultures (feminism in France and that of a “northern city” in Europe) and two languages (with questions of linguistic domination interfering with questions of gender). Through this narrative, in which nothing is ever quite stabilized, always evolving and transforming, The author explores new possibilities for inhabiting language and overcoming binarities, both gender-based and those between human and non-human. The novel questions linguistic norms as well as their inscription in bodies and sexualities.
Camille Cornu’s writing, both abundant and masterful, is at the service of a constantly surprising narrative, in which plants intrude into everyday life and blur the boundaries between dream and reality.
A fascinating, profoundly contemporary book that shows the evolution of a character escaping from norms and categories, inventing their own language and creating new alliances with plants.