Emmanuelle Pagano

Emmanuelle Pagano_head_credit Michel Roty

Born in 1969 in the Aveyron region of southern France, Emmanuelle Pagano studied fine art and the aesthetics of cinema. She now lives and works on the Ardèche plateau. She has written more than a dozen works of fiction, and in France is primarily published by P.O.L. She has won the EU Prize for Literature and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She regularly collaborates with artists working in other disciplines such as dance, cinema, photography, illustration, fine art and music.


Grains of sand, bridges, shampoo, a bike, board games, yoga, sellotape, birds, balloons, tattoos, wandering hands, tweezers, maths, fish, letterboxes, puppets, a vacuum cleaner, a ball of string – and love.

In this novel of yous and mes, of hims and hers, Pagano choreographs the objects, gestures, places, and persons through which love is made real.

More Information

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Advance Praise for Trysting

  • ‘Trysting is a mirror shattered in play: inscribed on each bright shard of glass, a fable about a fragment of love.’ Joanna Walsh, author of Vertigo
  • ‘Polyphonic, arboreal, rhizomatic, desperate, stunning.’ Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse
  • ‘The interactions of men and women, infinitely varied and minutely scrutinised, are Emmanuelle Pagano’s central concern here. No oddity or anomaly of behaviour is too slight to escape her notice, but the effect is less forensic than boundlessly compassionate and wise. She is a prose poet worthy to stand with the great exponents of the genre.’ Christopher Reid, author of A Scattering
  • ‘A bold, experimental book of cohering fragments, full of intimately-spoken truths about desire, about love, and about their aftermaths. It is like having strangers whisper their secrets into our minds.’ Patrick McGuinness, author of The Last Hundred Days
  • ‘Subtle and moving, the fragments of life presented in Trysting question the relationships between love, sex and gender, making the everyday strange and the strange everyday’ Juliet Jacques, author of Trans: A Memoir
  • ‘Trysting is an album of destinies. They each have their décor. They talk of first frosts, of the wood that must be brought in, of the huge rubbish tips of life, of the disorder of houses. Of beds that are no longer made because they are too often occupied. Of the warmth of being at home and of finding oneself. This essential truth of what we are. Emmanuelle Pagano sends every reader back to familiar territory. Her book is full of discreet and recognisable emotion.’ Xavier Houssin, Le Monde
  • ‘Understated and devilishly talented, Pagano follows her amorous quest, made up of stand-out sketches, scathing little stories, confessions and analyses, all shared between voices.’ Thierry Clermont, Le Figaro
  • ‘Trysting reveals what only literature can: the basic irrationality, the arbitrary enchantment, but also the residual grace within the feeling of love. A multitude of anonymous male and female characters show us the ways we are seduced by each other: a scent, a movement, a way of being, a way of making love.’
    Alexandre Gefen, Magazine littéraire
  • ‘Though she insists on brevity, Pagano never abandons complexity and holds fast to the animal sensuality that forms the bedrock of every couple’s relationship.’
    Clementine Goldszal, Les Inrockuptibles
  • ‘Familiar but never banal. Without a trace of performance, full of shared confidences, it has an incredible delicacy.’
    Olivia de Lamberterie, Elle


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