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As if the reader were riding shotgun, this intensely vivid novel captures a life on the lam. L astragale is the French word for the ankle bone Albertine Sarrazin s heroine Anne breaks as she leaps from her jail cell to freedom. As she drags herself down the road, away from the prison walls, she is rescued by Julien, himself a small-time criminal, who keeps her hidden. They fall in love. Fear of capture, memories of her prison cell, claustrophobia in her hideaways: every detail is fiercely felt.Astragal burst onto the French literary scene in 1965; its fiery and vivacious style was entirely new, and Sarrazin became a celebrity overnight. But as fate would have it, Sarrazin herself kept running into trouble with the law, even as she became a star.She died from a botched surgery at the height of her fame. Sarrazin s life and work (her novels are semi-autobiographical) have been the subject of intense fascination in France; a new adaptation of Astragal is currently being filmed. Patti Smith, who brought Astragal to the attention of New Directions, contributes an enthusiastic introduction to one of her favorite writers."

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  • Paperback | 186 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 20.32mm | 226.8g
  • New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0811220737
  • 9780811220736
  • 307,835

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With Astragal's English reissue and Patti Smith's new introduction, there is the hope, perhaps slight, that Sarrazin will find a new audience and, with it, a new kind of freedom. --Sara Freeman

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