Emmanuelle Pagano


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.


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  • Translated by Jennifer Higgins and Sophie Lewis.
  • Read more about Emmanuelle Pagano in our author section.
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before 15 February 2016, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to 5 other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Print status: Available
Original language: French
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 17 November 2016
ISBN: 9781908276773
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276773
Availability: UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl. Canada)
Number of pages: 160


Emily Rhodes
The Guardian

‘Emmanuelle Pagano arranges poetic vignettes into an elaborate mosaic about love . . . a beautiful treasury of amorous moments.’

Sarah Gilmartin
Irish Times

‘Objects, gestures, smells, emotions – Trysting is a mosaic of the myriad things that define a relationship.’

Chris Power
The Guardian

Trysting uses polyphony to map the many different strains of love and sexuality . . . Reading the book is a kaleidoscopic experience. [It] succeeds because of the range of her insight and the skill with which she shifts register: from wistfulness to blunt force, or from fantasy to naturalism.’

Lorna Scott Fox
Times Literary Supplement

‘The original title points to the sensuous materiality of this collection of fragments about coupledom . . . we’re in a defiantly physical consciousness. If Trysting asks the question ‘What is love?’, it also says that there’s no answer.’

Joanna Walsh

‘Trysting is a mirror shattered in play: inscribed on each bright shard of glass, a fable about a fragment of love.’

Lauren Elkin

‘Polyphonic, arboreal, rhizomatic, desperate, stunning.’

Christopher Reid

‘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.’

Patrick McGuinness

‘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.'

Juliet Jacques

‘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’