I Who Have Never Known Men
$22.00 $16.50
  • Hardcover
  • 224
  • May 1999
  • 9781888363432

I Who Have Never Known Men

Jacqueline Harpman

A work of fantasy, I Who Have Never Known Men is the haunting and unforgettable account of a near future on a barren earth where women are kept in underground cages guarded by uniformed groups of men. It is narrated by the youngest of the women, the only one with no memory of what the world was like before the cages, who must teach herself, without books or sexual contact, the essential human emotions of longing, loving, learning, companionship, and dying. Part thriller, part mystery, I Who Have Never Known Men shows us the power of one person without memories to reinvent herself piece by piece, emotion by emotion, in the process teaching us much about what it means to be human.


"Carefully crafted, this novel is both unusual and thought-provoking." —Library Journal

"Beautifully written … " —Booklist

"It is surprising that a book with the psychological detail of a nightmare elicits in the reader feelings of such profound intensity." —Le Monde, New York Times

"The delirium of I Who Have Never Known Men suggests the work of a feminine Kafka." —Le Nouvel Observateur.

"Harpman says here all there is to say about dignity and the difficulty of remaining human in the face of suffering." —Le Quotidien

About Jacqueline Harpman

JACQUELINE HARPMAN (1929–2012) was born in Etterbeek, Belgium. Being half Jewish, the family moved to Casablanca when the Nazis invaded, and returned home after the war. After studying French literature she started training to be a doctor, but could not complete her medical studies when she contracted tuberculosis. She turned to writing in 1954 and her first work was published in 1958. In 1980 she qualified as a psychoanalyst. She had given up writing after her fourth book was published, and resumed her career as a novelist only some twenty years later. She wrote over 15 novels and won several literary prizes, including the Médicis for Orlanda.

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