In a dingy apartment on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, Thérèse Raquin is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. The numbing tedium of her life is suddenly shattered when she embarks on a turbulent affair with her husband’s earthy friend Laurent, but their animal passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them forever. Thérèse Raquin
caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and brought its twenty-seven-year-old author a notoriety that followed him throughout his life. Zola’s novel is not only an uninhibited portrayal of adultery, madness, and ghostly revenge, but also a devastating exploration of the darkest aspects of human existence.
Robin Buss’s translation superbly conveys Zola’s fearlessly honest and matter-of-fact style, combining fidelity to Zola’s idiosyncrasies with easy fluency in English
Introduction discusses Zola’s life and literary career and the influence of art, literature, and science on his writing
Includes the preface to the author’s second edition of 1868, chronology, suggestions for further reading, and notes