top of page
Girl in Profile

Girl in Profile

Zillah Bethell

A clever and elegant triumph

Gwen is living in Paris in a garret suited to her artist's calling. She spends most of her life not painting. Her lover, Rodin, is becoming inattentive… He says to paint while I wait but my jar of brushes remains on the mantelpiece beside the primroses just plucked. A work of art is a little beating heart, a little beating, palpitating heart and I have no palpitations, no beats to spare, not while Rodin is alive.

Moth is at home looking after her children. But her days are lit up by visits to art class with her son - at least, that is by Adam the art teacher… I flick my pixie crop gone wrong and caress the clay with my long delicate fingers. This is the way I'll caress your face, my fingers are telling him. Adulterous little piggies that want some roasty roast beef before they go to market.

Elizabeth is waiting to die. She still lives, though, despite it all. Around her people come and go and others too, wait to die. Including a correspondent on death row in America. It's a toss-up who will go first… I wonder what will grow on me when I am in the ground. Who will drool into my bangers and mash, my old and hairy minge? Down there. Down there. I need to learn the language of death. Is it diaphanous as a bat's wing, fairy knickers, a vowel through which our soul has fled?

Publication Date


21 April 2016


bottom of page