In 2003 Nikki Gemmell created a sensation when, writing under the tag ‘Anonymous’, her novel The Bride Stripped Bare became a literary phenomenon, with its raw and unflinching depiction of female sexuality.
Now, eight years later, Gemmell returns with another tour de force, With My Body, and addresses the question of what is intimacy and whether it is ever truly possible to know another person. It is at once a manifesto of married mothers everywhere and a highly personal story of one woman’s sexual awakening.
A wife, comfortably married and with three children, is contemplating middle age along with all the constraints of motherhood. Finding herself numb and locked down in an unending cycle of school runs, laundry and meal times, she cannot at first see a way to live with honesty. Even her husband, whom she loves, has never reached the core of her. Despairing of ever finding a way through her family to her own identity, she returns to the the memory of an old love affair – the consequences of which she has never resolved. She goes back to her past and confronts it, and the result is an exhilarating examination of present-day sexuality.
With My Body is exquisitely raw, emotional and bold, and deeply resonant of the classic French erotic writings of Colette, Nin and Duras – but with a modern and provocative twist.