PRAISE FOR INDELICACY
"Bewitching . . . Cain’s concentrated, subtle, and intriguing portrait of an evolving artist resolutely rejecting gender and class roles, with its subtle nods to Jean Rhys, Clarice Lispector, and Octavia Butler, explores the risks and rewards of a call to create and self-liberate." Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
"Cain upends fairy tale endings in . . . this incisive tale . . .[Indelicacy] disquiets with its potent, swift human dramas." Publishers Weekly
"Deeply rooted in the literary tradition, [Indelicacy] inconspicuously references works like Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and Octavia Butler's Kindred and explores themes like class and gender. With its short, spare sentences, Cain's writing seems simple on the surfacebut it is deeply observant of the human condition, female friendships, and art. A short, elegant tale about female desire and societal expectations." Kirkus Reviews
"In Indelicacy we meet a woman who spends time studying landscape paintings and then walking inside the landscapes where she lives. She looks at a landscape then moves inside another, and as we read it begins to seem that the landscapes in paintings and in fiction are eerily the same. In a deeply pleasing way, reading this novel is a bit like standing in a painting, a masterful study of light and dark, inside and out, freedom and desire. Amina Cain is one of my favorite writers. I loved reading this book." Danielle Dutton, author of Margaret the First
"To read Amina Cain's Indelicacy is akin to donning magnifying spectacles that distill a woman's past into modern reality, these lucid and uncanny lenses remaining on the eye far beyond her pages." Josephine Foster, musical artist
"With simplicity and wisdom, Amina Cain's Indelicacy strips away the clutter of the modern novel, leaving only her narrator’s concentrated attention and yearning. As a tribute to the history of its own form, Indelicacy manages to expand our ideas of both the classic and the contemporary." Tim Kinsella, music-maker and author of Sunshine on an Open Tomb
"Acutely observed, Indelicacy is an exquisite jewel box of a novel with the passion and vitality found only in such rare and necessary works as The Hour of the Star and The Days of Abandonment. Through this timeless examination of solitude, art, and friendship, Amina Cain announces herself as one of the most intriguing writers of our time." Patty Yumi Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
"Amina Cain's diligence, patience, and clarity of vision are unparalleled. This is a writer profoundly aware of the impact and import of silence. Her sentences echo long after they’ve landed on the page. Keep your eyes peeled for Indelicacy." Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, author of Call Me Zebra
"Amina Cain redefines strangeness and freedom in this beautiful and unusual novel that resembles fairy tales and ghost stories but feels intensely contemporary." Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice
"Indelicacy is a novel like the tolling of a great bell. It will move your heart. Amina Cain's writing is the rarest kind: it creates not only new scenes and characters, but new feelings." Sofia Samatar, author of Winged Histories
"I was spellbound by Amina Cain’s Indelicacy, partly because it is a lucid novel about human relationships, the soul, art, and change; partly because it is an intelligent yet raw tale about what ruptures are required to grow room for oneself; partly because of its witty juxtaposition of good and bad; but mostly because it is deeply original, like nothing I've ever read before." Gunnhild Øyehaug, author of Wait, Blink
An aspiring writer finds a way to live the life she's always wanted.
In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf wrote that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction"—and that sentiment echoes through Cain's (Creature, 2013, etc.) debut novel. The protagonist, Vitória, a young and bright museum cleaning woman, spends her days dreaming about writing. In the moments between scrubbing toilets and floors, she writes descriptions of paintings and notices the world around her. Soon she is plucked from her life by a rich husband and placed into another. Her new life is complete with a large house, a personal study, and a maid, who serves as a constant reminder of her own upward social mobility. Despite her good fortune, Vitória is unhappy. At one point, Vitória wonders about her good luck and how she was "saved" from a wholly different life. She writes about a glue factory where women work and horses are sacrificed: "We should memorialize the horses, remember them truthfully, and the women who have to spend their days in that way....I have benefited from a woman who never stops working, walking back from the factory in the morning and the night." She recognizes the sacrifices women make and, more importantly, the ones she no longer has to make. Deeply rooted in the literary tradition, the novel inconspicuously references works like Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and Octavia Butler's Kindred and explores themes like class and gender. With its short, spare sentences, Cain's writing seems simple on the surface—but it is deeply observant of the human condition, female friendships, and art.
A short, elegant tale about female desire and societal expectations.