white

The latest addition to my website is Marie Darrieussecq‘s White (White). This covers Darrieussecq’s favourite theme of isolation, helped by the fact that it is set in Antarctica, hence the title. It tells the story of a scientific expedition based in Antarctica, focusing on two people, Peter Tomson, a heating engineer, and Esmée Blanco, a radio engineer. Tomson is originally from an unspecified developing country but has been brought up in Iceland where, because of his skin and hair colour, he has always felt that he was an outsider while Banco is French but married to an American who works for NASA. They have lived in Canada and, more recently, in Houston. The theme of both the remoteness of Antarctica but also the isolation Tomson and Blanco have felt in their lives and from the other members of the party is emphasised and, inevitably, it brings the two of them together. It is certainly an interesting idea, even if not a great deal happens in the novel.