by: Marie Redonnet
Understudies is an early work by Marie Redonnet, published in France in 1986, here translated by Jordan Stump (Leaping Dog Press, 2005). It is 86 pages, 5 x 9 inches. The book is not easy to find, and it's one of the strangest works of fiction I've read.
"'Twelve little machines to make death and failure,' Redonnet calls the twelve characters -- or the twelve stories -- we find in this book, and it's true: every tale we find here tells the same story, albeit in twelve different forms, the story of a kind of erasure, of disappearance and undoing, owing to the characters' fatal need to make of themselves a copy of another." -- From the translator's introduction