by Hanna Johansson
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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 23 Jan 2024
On a Greek island rich with ancient beauty, a lonely woman in her thirties upends the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter. Lust and admiration for Helena, a chic older artist, brings Antiquity’s unnamed narrator to Ermoupoli, where Helena’s daughter, Olga, seems at first like an obstacle and a nuisance. But the unpredictable forces of ego and desire take over, leading our narrator down a more dangerous path, and causing the roles of lover and beloved, child and adult, stranger and intimate to become distorted. As the months go by, the fragile web connecting the three women nears rupture, and the ominous consequences of their entanglement loom just beyond a summer that must end.
With echoes of Death in Venice, Call Me by Your Name, and The Lover, but wholly original and contemporary, Antiquity probes the depths of memory, beauty, morality, and the narratives that arrange our experience of the world.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR ANTIQUITY
“Entrancing and calamitous, Antiquity dreams deeply into the shadows of desire and obsession. A precise and mysterious spell of a book.”
—Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch
“A wonderful novel written with the menacing elegance of a cat burglar working in the shadows and at great heights.”
—Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X
“In Antiquity, Hanna Johansson probes the most forbidden recesses of desire, aging, and memory in sentences as lucent and incisive as shards of glass. Wily, mesmeric, and utterly disarming, this fabulously translated novel held me captive from the very first page, and its questions and images will linger in my blood for a long time. Rarely have I felt so transported and beguiled by a book, let alone a debut. Don't miss it.”
—Maggie Millner, author of Couplets: A Love Story
“What Hanna Johansson offers in her electric, unsettling debut refuses all protection and dares the reader to do the same. Kira Josefsson’s translation is its own marvel, the language brimming with just-kept chaos until the keeping’s no longer possible. I won’t forget this book.”
—Anna Moschovakis, author of Participation