Jean Echenoz

I'm Off And One Year

I'm Off And One Year


'I'm off', says Félix Ferrer to his wife. 'I'm leaving you'. And closing the door on their suburban home, Ferrer, a creature of appetite, impulse and habit, a man of our times, embarks on a journey to the extremes. A man at Ferrer's time of life should be starting to treat himself - and his heart - carefully, not living the bachelor life in the Paris atelier that doubles as his art gallery. Not weighing up every girl he sees. Not ignoring his doctor's warnings to avoid the very hot and the very cold. And certainly not making for the North Pole in pursuit of a rare cargo of Inuit artefacts.

Soon, back from the merciless Arctic, packed with ex-girlfriends, anxious artists and suspicious creditors, Paris in the summer begins to feel very hot indeed for Ferrier...

In One Year Victoire wakes up one morning to find her boyfriend lying dead beside her. Not wanting to be caught with a corpse, she packs her bags, raids her bank account and makes off, randomly, for the Southwest. And when she has lost her belongings, her money, her looks and almost herself - one year later - the coast is clear for her to come back to Paris. But nothing prepares her for the shock of what greets her return...