Faces on the Tip of My Tongue

by Emmanuelle Pagano


Meetings, partings, loves and losses in rural France are dissected with compassion.

The late wedding guest isn’t your cousin but a drunken chancer. The driver who gives you a lift isn’t going anywhere but off the road. Snow settles on your car in the middle of summer and the glitter found between the pages of a borrowed novel takes you into another world.

Pagano’s stories weave together the mad, the mysterious and the dispossessed in rural France with honesty and humour. This is a superb cumulative collection from a unique French voice.

128pp, paperback with flaps, £12
ISBN 978-1-908670-63-2
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Press & Reviews

'There is a delicate, almost translucent thread entwined in the narrative which provides hints, takes the reader to the next story, like a children’s game, only to discover a new detail, invisible before.' - Nataliya Deleva, Empty Mirror

'A lake; a tree; a cemetery; a bend in the road: as one brief prose poem succeeds the last, the settings of an intimate area of rural France begin to overlay one another.' - Jo Manby, Floralia

‘A treasure hunt that you can follow from title to title...fine-tipped drawings of little bits of the world that attach themselves to each other imperceptibly.’ - Xavier Houssin, Le Monde

'Pagano is a prose poet of the highest possible calibre.' - Christopher Reid, poet and essayist

‘Endlessly beautiful and poignant.’ - Le Monde books of the year

‘Devastatingly beautiful.’ - Le Soir, Belgium

About The Book


Emmanuelle Pagano was born in Rodez (Aveyron) in 1969. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she has won multiple awards for her writing, including the EU Prize for Literature and most recently the French Ecology Novel Prize. This is her second book published in English, the first Trysting was published by And Other Stories in 2016.


Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins translated Pagano’s previous collection Trysting to much acclaim. Individually, Higgins has translated multiple books from French and Italian and Lewis’s translations have been shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize.