Our Lady of Flowers Author:Jean Genet The novel tells the story of Divine, a drag queen who, when the novel opens, has died of tuberculosis and been canonised as a result. The narrator tells us that the stories he is telling are mainly to amuse himself whilst he passes his sentence in prison - and the highly erotic, often explicitly sexual, stories are spun to assist his masturbatio... more »n. Jean-Paul Sartre called it "the epic of masturbation".
Divine lives in an attic room overlooking Montmartre cemetery, which he shares with various lovers, the most important of whom is a pimp called Darling Daintyfoot. One day Darling brings home a young hoodlum and murderer, dubbed Our Lady of the Flowers. Our Lady is eventually arrested and tried, and executed. Death and ecstasy accompany the acts of every character, as Genet performs a transvaluation of all values, making betrayal the highest moral value, murder an act of virtue and sexual appeal.« less