The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs
By Simone Benmussa, translated by Barbara Wright
A strange life his was, and mysterious – mysterious, because when he died, we learnt that Albert was a woman.
1860s Dublin. Albert Nobbs is an apparently unassuming and exemplary waiter in a large hotel. However, he is harbouring a secret that remains largely undiscovered until his death: he is actually a woman, posing as a man in order to obtain work and avoid destitution. But this leads to destitution of a more personal kind, as ‘Albert’ can only stumble through life, wondering ‘what if…?’ until a chance encounter with a fellow ‘perhapser’ leaves ‘him’ clinging to unrealistic dreams of domestic happiness.