Indelicacy by Amina Cain

Indelicacy by Amina Cain


'Cain has conjured a protagonist who purged my mind and filled my heart.' -- Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond


A ghostly feminist fable about class, desire, friendship and the battle to find one's true calling.


In an undefined era and place, a cleaning woman at a museum of art aspires to do more than simply dust the paintings around her. She dreams of having the security and time to use her mind, and the liberty to be a writer.


She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, high society 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 social and erotic but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps a more drastic solution is necessary?

Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral and an exploration of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature.


'Her bone-clean prose creates a sense of immersion in a story that feels both mythic and true.' -- Guardian

'Books don t have to be sagas to make an impression . . . Perhaps it was always Cain's intention to draw in busy readers quickly and easily, then suspend us, helpless and happy, in the extraordinary world she has created, unmoored in time or place.' -- Financial Times

'A thing of real delicacy, with a fine, distilled quality to the writing, every word precisely chosen, precisely placed.' -- Observer

'An extraordinary feminist fable about women and art.' -- Irish Times

'A novel that will get people talking . . . A Room of One's Own with a few wicked twists.' -- New York Times

'Indelicacy is a short book but it feels brilliantly expansive to read. Cain writes beautiful precise sentences about what it means to wander through this luminous world.' -- Jenny Offill, author of Weather

'Amina Cain is a phenomenal writer. Indelicacy isn't merely a book, it's a world; a world I wanted to live in, forever.' -- Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

'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

'So exquisite and precise that I felt I wanted to read it constantly, to live inside it . . . A completely absorbing, luminous account of a woman inhabiting her life and creativity.' -- Megan Hunter, author of The Harpy

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