In The Third Body, the poet, novelist, feminist critic, and theorist Hélène Cixous interweaves a loose narrative line with anecdotes, autobiography, lyricism, myth, dream, fantasy, philosophical insights, and intertextual citations of and conversations with other authors and thinkers. Cixous evokes the relationship of the female narrator and her lover, a relationship of alternating presences and absences, separations and rejoinings. This relationship assumes protean forms within a complex web of writing, creating a third body out of the entwined bodies of the narrator and her lover.
Hélène Cixous is a professor emerita of literature and founder of the Centre d'études feminines, Paris VIII. Her numerous books include Stigmata, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, The Newly Born Woman, The Laugh of the Medusa, and Manhattan: Letters from Prehistory. In 2000, a collection in Cixous' name was created at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.