by Harpman, Jacqueline, Schwartz, Ros, Mackintosh, Sophie | Fiction & related items
Published 02/05/2019 by Vintage Publishing (Vintage) in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 208 pages
Staff pick, Cristina:
I Who Have Never Known Men is a deeply unsettling, spine chilling horror novella by Belgian author Jacqueline Harpman. The tale is told in sparse, simple prose from the perspective of a nameless young woman who wakes up in a cage underground with 39 other women. None of them remember how they got there and can only recall glimpses of their past.
Despite the horrifying premise, this novella manages to be an absolutely compelling tale of hope and resistance. It is also a moving exploration of freedom, humanity, gender and imagination. I read it in one sitting and it lingered in my mind for days after.
PS Don’t read the introduction by Sophie Mackintosh beforehand as it contains some spoilers.