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Hannah Johansson



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Elegant, slippery, and provocative, Antiquity is a queer Lolita story by prize-winning Swedish author Hanna Johansson — a story of desire, power, obsession, observation, and taboo.

Antiquity follows its unnamed narrator, a lonely woman in her thirties who becomes enamoured of a chic older artist, Helena, after interviewing her for a magazine. Helena invites the narrator to join her in the Greek city of Ermoupoli where she summers with her teenage daughter Olga. At first an object of jealousy, Olga morphs into an object of desire as the pull of Helena is transposed onto her daughter and the prospect of becoming someone’s first, if perverse, lover.

With echoes of Death in Venice, Call Me by Your Name, The Lover, and Lolita, but wholly original and contemporary, Antiquity probes the depths of memory, power, and the narratives that arrange our experience of the world.

Entrancing and calamitous, Antiquity dreams deeply into the shadows of desire and obsession. A precise and mysterious spell of a book.'
-Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch

Antiquity, Hanna Johansson probes the most forbidden recesses of desire, ageing, and memory in sentences as lucent and incisive as shards of glass. Wily, mesmeric, and utterly disarming, this fabulously translated novel held me captive from the very first page, and its questions and images will linger in my blood for a long time. Rarely have I felt so transported and beguiled by a book, let alone a debut. Don't miss it.'
-Maggie Millner, author of Couplets- a love story

'A wonderful novel written with the menacing elegance of a cat burglar working in the shadows and at great heights.'
-Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X

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