Welcome to your January read: Love Me Tender by Constance Debré, translated by Holly James.

Love Me Tender by Constance Debré  tr. Holly James

A period of immense change inspired Constance Debré’s work of auto fiction set in Paris. When her 20-year marriage comes to an end, she throws herself into exploring her sexuality as a queer woman whilst rejecting material possessions emblematic of her past comfortable life.

Her ex-husband can’t accept her new identity and retaliates by severing her contact with her son.

Heartbreaking and uncompromising, we couldn’t stop reading this Love Me Tender. With an honesty and spareness reminiscent of Annie Ernaux, Constance’s story is one that is singular and rarely heard.

Love Me Tender is the story of a former good girl blowing up her life in favour of freedom and creativity. Whether this is worth it at any cost is up for debate, but one certainty is Constance’s refusal to perform a pre-defined maternal or societal role, and that’s what bowled us over.