Scaffolding

Scaffolding

Summary

'The Susan Sontag of her generation' Deborah Levy

The story of two couples who live in the same apartment in north-east Paris almost fifty years apart.


In 2019, Anna, a psychoanalyst, is processing a recent miscarriage. Her husband, David, takes a job in London so she spends days obsessing over renovating the kitchen while befriending a younger woman called Clémentine who has moved into the building and is part of a radical feminist collective called les colleuses.

Meanwhile, in 1972, Florence and Henry are redoing their kitchen. Florence is finishing her degree in psychology while hoping to get pregnant. But Henry isn’t sure he’s ready for fatherhood…

Both sets of couples face the challenges of marriage, fidelity, and pregnancy. The characters and their ghosts bump into and weave around each other, not knowing that they once all inhabited the same space.

A novel in the key of Éric Rohmer, Scaffolding is about the bonds we create with people, and the difficulty of ever fully severing them; about the ways that people we’ve known live on in us; and about the way that the homes we make hold communal memories of the people who’ve lived in them and the stories that have been told there.

'Atmospheric and evocative, the prose elegant and poised' Observer

Reviews

  • 'An unabashedly philosophical novel — one that keeps the reader hooked by the sensuality of its prose'
    Erica Wagner, Financial Times

About the author

Lauren Elkin

Lauren Elkin is the author of several books, including Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, a Radio 4 Book of the Week, a New York Times Notable Book of 2017, and a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel award for the art of the essay. Her essays on art, literature, and culture have appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Times, Granta, Harper's, Le Monde, Les Inrockuptibles, and Frieze, among others. She is also an award-winning translator, most recently of Simone de Beauvoir's previously unpublished novel The Inseparables. After twenty years in Paris, she now lives in London.
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