And My See-Through Heart, By Veronique Ovaldé

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The Independent Culture

Reminiscent of the work of near contemporary, Marie Darrieussecq, Ovaldé's fiction is ineffably French – her romantically inclined characters not quite of this world.

Lancelot Rubinstein is a reclusive proof-reader who lives quietly with his second wife, Irina, in an "elastic suburb" in a chilly northern state. Sustained by green tea and love, he considers himself happy.

Then late one night he gets a call from the police telling him his wife's car has been found in a river. This comes as a shock, not least because he'd only just waved her off at the airport.

We gradually piece together what happened, and why Lancelot's wife has always proved a phantom of sorts.

An engaging story of bereavement and loss, playfully translated by Adriana Hunter.