Asked to write her memoir, Marie Ndiaye published this paranoid fantasia of rising floodwaters, walking corpses, eerie depictions of her very own parents, and the incessant reappearance of women in green. This is an exploration of how we form our identities, how we discover those things we repress, and how our obsessions become us.
It's a book that, once read, leaves you wondering what to think about it, but knowing at the least that you had a thought-provoking evening ... Those words sound halfhearted, but are meant to convey better. Perhaps they're influenced by Ndiaye herself ... a strange, strong series of stories.
This book has been described as both memoir and fiction; among its many ambiguities is that of genre. NDiaye clearly embraces these ambiguities, even on the sentence level ... The book becomes a representation of the artist’s mind, questions, anxieties, pleasures, and all.
...meticulously translated ... The narrator’s intimate—and sometimes rather skewed, crooked, prickly—encounters with green women are surprising ... Many encounters with green women ring false, contrived, mean. Defensive. And others yet are more passive, poisonous episodes of vapidity that prove both artful and full of guile. Green is mistrust, but green is also the narrator, herself. How do we disdain those who make us?