Emma Tennant: Faustine

(807 words)
  • Gina Wisker (University of Brighton)

Devilishly amusing is Emma Tennant's Faustine, which has all the ingredients of a potent haunted house story – magical and demonic. The novel works by revitalising memory, and exploring the evil magical power of a selfish, consumer-oriented desire for eternal youth and beauty; eternal sexual, financial and social power. In so doing, it provides an interesting critique of the values of the 1960s and '70s as translated into the more sober, capitalist Thatcherite '80s and '90s. Magic and humour are the forms of the story: its social critique is clear.

The protagonist is Ella, a granddaughter, who wants to find her roots, and seeks out her past and her fondly remembered grandmother, flying from Australia to England to do …

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Wisker, Gina. "Faustine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5174, accessed 29 September 2016.]