FINALIST FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION’S FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
An intimate, elegant, and deceptively sinister story of what a woman will do to take control of her life.
A woman aspiring to a contemplative life faces innumerable obstacles–cultural, financial, sexual, and metaphysical — that stand between her and the freedom to live as she desires.
In \”a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch\” (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings that surround her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the security and time to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man sympathetic to her \”hobby,\” but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor — social and erotic — but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?
Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one’s true calling.