48 rue Defacqz
Rakel and Paul are twins, one a painter, the other an architect. They live together in 48 Rue Defacqz, in a remarkable house that Paul has designed and built with stone from their father’s quarry – the quarry which also made them orphans twenty years earlier. Rakel is engaged to Paul’s boss, but is ambivalent about their impending marriage. The twins work, they make it through from one day to the other, but their existence is strangely timeless and unreal. Still, some things are real – but which and how? One day a woman with a suitcase appears on the pavement across the street from their house. She looks familiar to Rakel.
Questions of art, body and gender are central to Hanne Ørstavik’s ninth novel, all manifest in the house of the twins, an actual art noveau house in Brussels drawn by the Belgian architect Paul Hankar. How could masculine men design something so soft, and how could this feminine thing fit in with their masculinity?