"A magical novel on the theme of androgyny. Funny, subtle, poignant..." - Nadine Sautel, Magazine littéraire
"Jacqueline Harpman drags us into one of those sexual phantasmagorias that are her own secret. She displays incredible confidence in juggling identities and meshing together yearnings and phobias, fantasies and frustrations" - T G, L'Express
How would it be to jump into the skin of another? To be both a man and a woman at once? And what would happen if you found yourself attracted to yourself?
Beneath a mousy exterior, 35-year-old college lecturer Aline seethes with frustration. Sick of being bullied by her mother and treated like a piece of furniture by Albert, her live-in lover, one day Aline leaps from her own skin into the far more attractive body of Lucien, whom she spots in a café at the Gare du Nord. From here this brilliantly imaginative story runs on parallel lines. While Aline sensibly catches the train back to her orderly life, Aline-Lucien - or Orlanda, as her bold new composite self is called in homage to Virginia Woolf - follows, dragging chaos in his wake.
Jacqueline Harpman, herself once a psychoanalyst, revels in the confusion, as ego falls for alter ego and mothers, sisters and lovers begin to ask awkward questions in this unusual perceptive comedy of double selves and bisexuality.
"Undoubtedly this is a novel to breathe life into characters through the unfettered use of the imagination. It offers a pretext for a great deal of humour and fantasy that stirs up the old myths' - André Brincourt, Figaro
Winner of the Prix Médicis.