An exciting new direction from acclaimed novelist Monique Roffey
London, midsummer night. Jane and Bill meet the mysterious Lilah in a bar. She entrances the couple with half-true, mixed up tales about her life. At closing time, Jane makes an impulsive decision to invite Lilah back to their home. But Jane has made a catastrophic error of judgement, for Lilah is a skilled and ruthless predator, the likes of which few encounter in a lifetime. Isolated and cursed, Jane and Bill are forced to fight for each other, and, in doing so, discover their covert desires.
Part psychological thriller, part contemporary magical realism, The Tryst revisits the tale of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, to examine the secrets of an everyday marriage.
“What makes The Tryst an unexploded virus isn’t just the quality and brightness of Roffey’s writing on sex, even as it uncovers inner glades between flesh and fantasy where sex resides – but the taunting clarity of why those glades stay covered. A throbbing homewrecker of a tale, too late to call Fifty Shades of Red.”
DBC Pierre, Booker Prize winner, 2003
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2syHhPE
Praise for The Tryst
“The Tryst is a sly, feral, witty, offbeat erotic novella that unsettles the reader, even as it arouses. There are sex scenes of breath-taking audacity. What would any of us do if an irresistible sex daemon broke and entered our domestic lives, leaving havoc in her amoral wake?”
Rowan Pelling, editor, The Amorist
“I’ve read The Tryst and was enormously entertained and impressed. It’s wild and witching, at once contemporary and atavistic, with an anarchic sexual energy running through it and a startling frankness, not only about sex, but about love and relationships, gender and power ... a daring write and consuming read.” Bidisha, writer and broadcaster
“While The Tryst offers magic and sensuality aplenty, it lays bare the violence that heteronormative couples will do to ‘others’ to keep the home system stoked. It can be read as a fable about intimacy and erotic power. Disturbingly, it can also be read as a fable about the socially established vs. the disposable.”
Vahni Capildeo, poet, Forward Prize winner
“The Tryst summons your inner whore and demands she be honoured.”
Empress Stah, cabaret theatre performer
“A Midsummer’s Night Dream meets erotic thriller in this captivating romp through the senses. ... Monique Roffey perfectly captures the inner worlds of both the un-fucked housewife and the archetypal slut in this wonderful tale exploring the power of sexuality, erotic magnetism and the changing face of human relationships.”
Seani Love, Sex Worker of the Year, 2015
“Monique Roffey’s The Tryst successfully straddles mythology and erotica to create a journey towards pleasure.”
Suzanne Portnoy, author of The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker
“Sexy, lyrical and unashamed, The Tryst is a powerful slice of modern erotica which blends sexual magick with today’s hectic world of male-female relationships.”
Vina Jackson, author of Eighty Days Yellow
“Sexy as hell. A cross between the work of Angela Carter and Anaïs Nin, The Tryst weaves the urban and the modern with dark myth. Roffey is a risk taking and masterful storyteller,” J Malloy, author of The Story of X
Before lunch we had sex again on the kitchen floor. Quickly, this time, me riding him. Oh, I like to be on top, to be the domina, the one who hostesses the show, who stages all the stunts with human males. I am the party thrower, the orgy mistress. I gave him a good fuck, massaging his cock with the muscles of my cunt, and the energy of him rose upwards through me and lit me up. This Bill was made to fit me and I was made to fit him; somehow I’d stumbled across him, this Adam. At first glance he was just a primary model: Husband, Father, the Average White English Male. Homme Vanille. Marks and Spencer Man. Nothing remarkable. Nicely castrated by the middle class feminists, cured of any alpha tendencies. He had been trained not to be dominant. Isn’t that what feminism has done, it has laughed the alpha males out of town. Masculinity is in crisis, say the clever ones these days. Feminism equalised women in the workplace and put men in the shed, where I found Bill. The male alpha doms went underground, thousands of them, to Internet fetish sites and their private dungeons and the like. There, many of my sistren operate, daemon-killers like me. Professional Dommes. Strangulators, ball kickers. Experts in humiliation, bestiality, fucking men up the ass with their strap-ons. Torturing testicles till they turn blue. We Lilatha exist in the shadows, in the twilight; we are around if you look for us. Many men do, those who like to submit. And they keep quiet when they find us. Few imps, like me, stalk the pavements in full view. That’s my kink, to fuck The Innocents, men like Bill. I like to dominate Mr Everyday.
And yet, as I had happily discovered, Bill had secret charms and abilities after all. My assessment had been wrong. I rode Bill hard, forging a twinned ecstasy between us. We groaned and writhed, both of us dying afterwards. I laughed with glee, at how Bill gasped for breath. “You’re lovely,” he gasped. I licked my fingers, tasting his bitter-salt cum. “So are you,” I winked. “Feed me now, I’m starving.”
Lunch was delicious and replenishing. We fell on fruit and gooey chocolate cake and ice cream and opened a bottle of red wine. I put on one of his vinyl jazz records and danced around naked. I’ll stay one more hour, I told myself. One more hour, just one. Janey-Wife has gone, this house is mine and we still want to fuck. I am not yet sated. Greedy thing I was, greedy for his cock. Bill couldn’t keep his eyes off me, he was entangled – miserably unsure of himself. Distant and yet high on that fuck-chemical of serotonin. It was coursing through him. It was like watching a new drug addict and any minute I might have to catch him from slumping to the floor. He was lust-drunk. But I wasn’t. I’d provoked this altered state in men many times before; I had left many husbands in this condition. Usually I fled well before this point. But I was still enjoying myself, still very much the sprite.
I danced naked for a while. Human men love to watch women dance in the nude and very few modern human women do. It is a dead art, relegated to the dim caverns and glossy tables of the lap dancing club. Burlesque
strip-joints. Once, it was an art of the courtly harem and the well-paid hetaera; once it was part of Bohemia, of a social stratum of free thinkers and free lovers. Men have danced naked too, for women and other men. There is a long tradition of the Lust Arts. I find this an omission on the part of modern womankind as naked dancing puts men in a state of awe and gratitude. The Wife won’t do it, never did. Oh, human women divide their nature. Mother. Wife. Whore. They do not integrate. Good girls and bad. Few celebrate that they are both. So there I was rubbing myself and licking my lips, caressing my breasts, my hips, sliding my hand down between my legs. It was an act, a naked tease. This was one of my many carnival tricks. I have worked in burlesque clubs, learnt the art of grinding and wriggling, stripping off stockings, gloves. Doing what American strippers call ‘ass work’, removing strings of pearls from my pussy. I have a strong muscular vagina, able to pulse and milk my men. But I do not possess the agility of hookers in the bars and lap dancing clubs of the Orient. I cannot shoot ping-pong balls across the room. I surprised Bill with three small but succulent beetroot I had found in the fridge, already peeled and boiled. I dripped the purple ink over my quim, inserting them one by one, dancing them up and in. He laughed out loud and clapped for me and I took a bow. He knelt for me and ate as I released each soft warm beet into his mouth.
More, he whispered.
And I complied, oh, with cucumbers and carrots and the like. Bill was rock hard throughout. I loved his cock, thick and uncircumcised. The tip glistened. At one point, I knelt in front of Bill and took his balls into my mouth and swirled them round. He trusted me more with his jewels this time. He poured wine over my face and I drank and sucked and his cock was huge and solid and he stroked himself and dripped cum over my face, rubbed it into my hair. Then he was sitting on a counter top, his jeans unbuckled, his thighs bare, his cock like a tower. Me on tiptoe, with my mouth all over him, my head bobbing, all the while kneading his scrotum and his hand reaching down, stroking me, catching the drips. Then, his body juddered, as if Aphrodite herself was stroking the kundalini up from his genitals and up his back. His cum flew in hot spurts, white and pearly, splattering his stomach, the fruit bowl, everywhere. And I came too, my cum cascaded like a torrent to the floor, not a cupful, as usual, but a warm wave fell from that secret reservoir. Like I had urinated, except it was translucent and salt-sweet to taste. And with this release, I began to feel altered. I shouldn’t be here; I should have left. Bill reached down and cupped the small of my back as I shuddered. My orgasm swamped us both. I looked up at Bill and saw his eyes glittering. Oh Christ, he whispered. I could see that he had recognised me. I was Wife No 1. My cover was blown. It was then I whispered my real name to him in my language and he nodded.
Monique Roffey is an award-winning Trinidadian-born writer. Her novels have been translated into five languages and short-listed for major awards including the Orange Prize, Costa Fiction Award, Encore Award, Orion Award and the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature. In 2013, Archipelago won the OCM BOCAS Award for Caribbean Literature. Her memoir, With the Kisses of his Mouth, was published in 2011. She is a Lecturer on the MFA in the Novel at Manchester Metropolitan University. She divides her time between the East end of London and Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Twitter @moniqueroffey13 and @DodoInk
Instagram: Monique Roffey
About Dodo Ink
Dodo Ink is an independent publishing company based in the UK. Founded by author Sam Mills (The Quiddity of Will Self, Corsair, 2012), digital publishing and marketing specialist Alex Spears, and reviewer Thom Cuell, Dodo Ink publish original fiction with a focus on risk-taking, imaginative novels. We are looking for books which don’t fall into easy marketing categories and don’t compromise their intelligence or style to fit in with trends. We are passionate readers, and we believe that there are many more who share our appetite for bold, original and ‘difficult’ fiction. We want to provide a home for great writing which isn’t being picked up by the mainstream.
Monique Roffey on
When you publish a book, it’s always a mixed bag of feelings for every writer, I guess: elation, a sense of meaning and purpose, guided to the right spot, ‘publication’. But, also, there is trepidation, and concern, a ‘will this baby fly?’, ‘will it get any attention?’ Will it be ignored, sink without a trace? Let alone, will it get near a serious prize list. But today, having just sent the final, final, final edits of The Tryst, to my very plucky publisher, Dodo Ink, I feel something so pure and so utterly without reserve or concern. I feel something almost shamanic, something inner and secure, something certain and from within, a sense of completion over a long time, and a sense of elation, a “Yes! You did it.” And it will be good.
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