Jacqueline Harpman

I Who Have Never Known Men
  • I Who Have Never Known Men

  • A haunting, heartbreaking post-apocalyptic tale of female friendship and intimacy.

    'A small miracle' The New York Times

    ‘For a very long time, the days went by, each just like the day before, then I began to think, and everything changed’

    Deep underground, thirty-nine women live imprisoned in a cage. Watched over by guards, the women have no memory of how they got there, no notion of time, and only vague recollection of their lives before.

    As the burn of electric light merges day into night and numberless years pass, a young girl - the fortieth prisoner - sits alone and outcast in the corner. Soon she will show herself to be the key to the others' escape and survival in the strange world that awaits them above ground.

    WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY SOPHIE MACKINTOSH, MAN BOOKER PRIZE-LONGLISTED AUTHOR OF THE WATER CURE

Jacqueline Harpman was born in Etterbeek, Belgium in 1929. Being half Jewish, the family fled to Casablanca when the Nazis invaded, and only returned home after the war. After studying French literature she started training to be a doctor, but could not complete her training due to contracting tuberculosis. She turned to writing in 1954 and her first work was published in 1958. In 1980 she qualified as a psychoanalyst. Harpman wrote over 15 novels and won numerous literary prizes, including the Prix Médicis for Orlanda. I Who Have Never Known Men was her first novel to be translated into English, and was originally published with the title The Mistress of Silence