Never to Return


Never to Return

Esther Tusquets
Translated and with an afterword by Barbara F. Ichiishi

European Women Writers Series

194 pages


August 1999


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Never to Return is a witty, penetrating account of a woman’s inner journey to understanding through her encounter with Freudian psychoanalysis. On the brink of turning fifty, Elena suddenly falls into a deep depression. Her husband has gone off to New York to celebrate the triumph of his cinematic career, accompanied not by his wife but by a lover half her age. Meanwhile her grown sons have left home to pursue their own lives and relationships. Fearing aging, loneliness, a failed love, and a failed life, she begins sessions with a reputable Argentine psychoanalyst. Elena’s experience of analysis provides the occasion for an intense scrutiny of self and world, while it raises basic questions about the psychoanalytic method and its implications for female emotional development. Complex and ambivalent, her narration offers both a sharply satiric view of analysis and a consideration of its possible power and effectiveness.
Esther Tusquets is a leading figure on the Spanish literary scene. Since the early sixties she has directed the distinguished Barcelona publishing house Editorial Lumen. Never to Return is the fourth in a series of critically acclaimed novels characterized by a winding, associative style that captures the vibrant ebb and flow of a woman’s inner life.

Author Bio

Barbara F. Ichiishi is the author of The Apple of Earthly Love: Female Development in Esther Tusquets’ Fiction and cotranslator of ƒdouard Glissant’s Monsieur Toussaint.


"Never to Return is much more than a polemic against pyschoanalysis; it is a stimulating 'open' or 'writerly' novel which contains the possibility of many and of even apparently contradictory, readings. . . . Tusquets deftly maintains her game of indeterminate meaning right up to the book's last line."—Times Literary Supplement

"[Tusquets] subtly builds a touching, bawdy, and often very funny characterization of a woman who's had it with insensitive males and finds ways to free her impatient body and spirit."—Kirkus Reviews

Never to Return satisfies us on several levels: it is brilliantly written, witty, stimulating, and highly enjoyable to read. Tusquets scrutinizes accepted gender roles, but does so in a sensitive and intelligent way. An afterward by the excellent Catalan translator Barbara F. Ichiishi about Tusquet’s literary career, an extensive glossary, and the list of works in the European women series further contribute to the high quality of this edition.”—International Fiction Review

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