This is the story of two flawed eccentrics. Everything they do subverts their firm intention of keeping up appearances. They meet just after the war in liberated Paris but they cannot quite free themselves from the many strings attached to them – the old aunts, the sisters, the cousins, the nuns and the ominous concierges who dog their footsteps. Alexandre is a banker and a Resistant and lives in a world of numbers and Roman emperors. Poum resides in the Odyssey and in her bed, hiding from the mysterious disapproval of their relatives, for they both seem to persist in some irreparable faux pas which has them wading through a lifetime pickle. Their daughter, Catherine, would like to help but she seems to be part of the problem.
This is no ordinary childhood, and Catherine de Saint Phalle’s acceptance of her parents, despite their flaws, shines through, propelling us head first into their strange, yet beautiful, Parisian world.
About the author
Catherine de Saint Phalle has been published in France by Actes Sud, Buchet/Chastel and Sabine Wespieser Editeur. She is the author of On Brunswick Ground (Transit Lounge 2015), also published in France. A tutor and translator, she lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is ensconced with her partner, a poet and bookseller. Poum and Alexandre is her first work of non-fiction.