‘I wanted to write about paintings, but I wasn’t seen as someone who could say something interesting about art. I was told by my husband I was writing about my own mind. I was told this wasn’t becoming. But I saw myself in the paintings; I saw everything there.’
Indelicacy is an exquisite gem of a novel about class, desire, friendship, art, and the battle to find one’s true calling.
In a ghostly, undefined era and place, a cleaning woman at a museum of art aspires to do more than simply dust the paintings around her.
She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time consuming labour but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?
‘Cain writes with elegance on art and friendship, creating a fictional world that feels more like a painting than a book. I inhaled this strange and shimmering novel in a single sitting.’ – AnOtherMagazine, Best Books of 2020
‘Amina Cain redefines strangeness and freedom in this beautiful and unusual novel that resembles fairy tales and ghost stories but feels intensely contemporary.’ – Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice
‘An exquisite, precise novel about a woman’s creativity, which will give light in gloomy times to come.’ – Megan Hunter, The White Review
‘Amina Cain is a phenomenal writer. I adore her work, and sensibility. Indelicacy isn’t merely a book, it’s a world; a world I wanted to live in, forever… Arch, yet warm; aspiring and impervious; confiding and enigmatic; reposing and intrepid; Cain has conjured a protagonist who purged my mind and filled my heart.’ — Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
‘Through this timeless examination of solitude, art, and friendship Amina Cain announces herself as one of the most intriguing contemporary writers of our time.’ – LitHub Most Anticipated Books of 2020
‘Reading this novel is a bit like standing in a painting, a masterful study of light and dark, inside and out, freedom and desire.’ – Danielle Dutton, author of Margaret the First
‘Through this timeless examination of solitude, art, and friendship, Amina Cain announces herself as one of the most intriguing writers of our time.’ – Patty Yumi Cottrell, author of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace
‘To read Indelicacy is akin to donning magnifying spectacles that distil a woman’s past into modern reality, these lucid and uncanny lenses remaining on the eye far beyond her pages.’ – Josephine Foster, musical artist