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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Indelicacy

Indelicacy

A Novel

Amina Cain

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A ghostly feminist fable, Amina Cain’s Indelicacy is the story of a woman navigating between gender and class roles to empower herself and fulfill her dreams.

In "a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch" (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings around her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the time and security to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor—social and erotic—but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?

Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one’s true calling.

Praise for Indelicacy

"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

"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, author of Let Go and Go On and On and singer/songwriter in Joan of Arc

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Amina Cain

Amina Cain is the author of two collections of short fiction, Creature and I Go to Some Hollow. Her essays and short stories have appeared in n+1, The Paris Review Daily, BOMB, Full Stop, Vice, the Believer Logger, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles and is a contributing editor at BOMB.

image of Amina Caino
(c) Polly Antonia Barrowman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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