Rose Dubois and Julie O'Brien find themselves on a burning roof together, on a summer's day, and from then on their fates intertwine, in a world where the natural force that is the changing climate foreshadows and encourages their predestined suffering.
Rose and Julie's submissive love for the same man, Charles, creates in them an arms race of artificial beauty and debasement. The first in their common obsession for plastic surgery and their attempts to be the avatar for the perfect female, and possess the perfect female organ; the second in their acceptance of Charles' objectifying sexual fetishes, his love for women as pieces of meat, and controlling nature.
However, both women, in this competition, realize that to accept being nothing more than an object, to kneel and grovel before you persecutor, you become his executioner. In the end, Charles will not survive his own obsessions and his desires, which he loathes, which will be his downfall and, ultimately, his death.
Nelly Arcan was born in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Her first novel Putain (2001); English: Whore (2004), drawing on her experience working in the sex trade in Montreal, caused a sensation and enjoyed immediate critical and media success. It was a finalist for both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina, two of France's most prestigious literary awards. Three more novels followed establishing her as a literary star in Quebec and France: Folle (2004), also nominated for the Prix Femina, À ciel ouvert (2007), and L'enfant dans le miroir (2007). Paradis, clef en main, her fourth novel, was completed just days before she committed suicide in 2009 at the age of thirty-six.
Born, bred and raised in Montreal, Jacob Homel has translated or collaborated in the translation of a number of works, including Toqué: Creators of a Quebec Gastronomy, The Last Genêt and The Weariness of the Self. In 2012, he won the JI Segal Translation Prize for his translation of A Pinch of Time. He shares his time between Montreal and Asia.