Rachel Kendall

‘This is an intense, claustrophobic tale full of the sights, sounds and particularly smells evoked by a hothouse Parisian summer. Rachel Kendall takes her heroine ever deeper into an existential crisis exacerbated by artistic failings and an uneven relationship with her male partner Z. The lush prose will convince you that you’ve been to every café and exhibition the city of lovers has to offer; the plot will wrench at both your heart and your psyche. This book is for everyone who’s ever read Camus or Sartre or who’s ever taken the metro or smoked a Gauloise by the Seine and wondered: who am I really? Kendall’s gripping narrative conjures strange and stranger days indeed.’

Allen Ashley, (British Fantasy Award winner.)

“Since her debut collection The Bride Stripped Bare, which cast a sometimes terrifying light on pregnancy and depression, it has been obvious that Rachel Kendall is a writer who dares to go where others fear to tread. In these days of political correctness and admirable feminism the topic of sado-masochism sits uncomfortably alongside issues like domestic violence. But the psychological maelstrom underlying these dark margins of our psyches require serious examination more urgently than ever, and in the tradition of European authors like Camus and Sartre, Nin and Carrington, Kendall deploys fiction to unsettle and challenge the reader. In ‘Stranger Days’ she presents us with the troubling character of Elodie, a brilliantly alive evocation of the caprice and menace of unreasonable youth. Traces of self-harm and paranoia are never far away, as our decadent and narcissistic narrator plumbs the depths of her beloved Paris in search of, and in flight from, the mysterious Elodie. When I read Rachel Kendall, I long for a time machine and an audience with André Breton at which we could get out of our boxes on something dangerous. But I know I’d wake up with a stuffed ostrich on my chest and knife through my ear, so I’ll make a cup of coco and snuggle up with her books instead.”

Douglas Thompson, (author of ‘Ultrameta’.)

I love the atmospheric descriptions of Paris (it’s like a love letter to the city at points, or maybe a love/hate letter, with amazing layers of feeling). And I was completely enthralled by the relationship between the narrator and Elodie (what a great character!) and from the point that their relationship became more intense and complicated, it was so gripping that I couldn’t put it down. Then I was knocked for six by the end because I didn’t see it coming at all.”

Kate Horsley (author of The Monster’s Wife)

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