Sphinx is the remarkable debut novel, originally published in 1986, by the incredibly talented and inventive French author Anne Garréta, one of the few female members of Oulipo, the influential and exclusive French experimental literary group whose mission is to create literature based on mathematical and linguistic restraints, and whose ranks include Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, among others.
A beautiful and complex love story between two characters, the narrator, "I," and their lover, A***, written without using any gender markers to refer to the main characters, Sphinx is a remarkable linguistic feat and paragon of experimental literature that has never been accomplished before or since in the strictly-gendered French language.
Sphinx is a landmark text in the feminist and LGBT literary canon appearing in English for the first time.
Anne Garréta (b. 1962) is a lecturer at the University of Rennes II and research professor of literature and Romance studies at Duke University. She joined the Oulipo in 2000, becoming the first member to join born after the Oulipo was founded. Garréta won France's prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002, awarded each year to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent," for her novel Pas un jour.
Emma Ramadan is a graduate of Brown University and received her master's in literary translation from the American University of Paris. Her translation of Anne Parian's Monospace is forthcoming from La Presse. She is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship for literary translation in Morocco.