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Cormac, born and brought up in Belfast, living now in Edinburgh with his wife and children, is an art teacher, an admirer of Rodin and a sculptor himself. When he tries to transmit his enthusiasm for Rodin to his students he finds his words tend to fall on stony ground, except when it comes to Clarinda Bain.
Fifteen years old, beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Clarinda is his keenest and most ardent student. On a school trip to Paris she becomes obsessed by the work and life of Gwen John, in particular by her affair with Rodin. She then begins to mirror this relationship by becoming obsessed herself with her own mentor, which throws Cormac’s life as a teacher and husband into confusion.
Compelling and exquisitely written, The Kiss is a study of artistic and sexual obsession by a writer at the height of her powers.