Girl in Profile

By Zillah Bethell

" Bethell's prose is like a rain shower of language, dark and mysterious - then the sun breaks through illuminating the lives of its female characters." Jo Mazelis, author of Significance, Jerwood Fiction Uncovered award-winner

Fiction, Novels



Paris, early twentieth century... Gwen lives in a garret and ekes out a living painting and modelling for others. It is her life, the life she has chosen and worked for. Auguste Rodin, a living legend, is her passion -– returned, for a while -– but now she sits for long hours awaiting his touch, his letters.

Swansea, now... Moth is married to Drew, devoted to her two children. What will be left to her when Dove leaves for the first day of school? What is there for a woman whose only award is that she was Miss Carmarthen at 22? When she's given everything to make sure that her kids had the best possible start...

Tenby, not far in the future... Elizabeth sits with friends on the cusp of extinction, contemplating the meaning of a life. Dementia is a cruel mistress, snatching away her thoughts and her dreams. Elizabeth writes to a gentleman on death row in the US, tantalising him with stories of her dancing, her laughter. The stories he tells in return echo in the sounding chamber of her memory.

Wales Independent Bookshops Book of the Month for May 2016


"Explores the complexity of women's choices - the ones who follow their passions and the ones who subsume them for the love of their family...if you want a book to make you think, or a story to make your head spin, or a writer in whose audacious use of language makes you blink and marvel or chuckle, then head over to buy Girl in Profile" Elizabeth Jane Corbett (

"It is a sort of hymn to women: in praise of their strength, mourning their sacrifices, and flagging up some of the leg-traps, cages and poisoned bait that dog their choices and path through life... Bethell is an enormously versatile writer, showing herself to be at ease with both lightness and humour and the darker side of life" Suzy Ceulan Hughes,

"At times as subtle and luminous as a Gwen John painting, at others it is dirty and real, but no less affecting" Jo Mazelis, author of Significance, Jerwood Fiction Uncovered award-winner

ISBN: 9781909983410
Language: English
Categories: Fiction, Novels
First Published by Honno: 21st April 2016

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