"Madeleine" is the story of a great writer's marriage, a deeply disturbing account of Andre Gide's feelings toward his beloved and long-suffering wife. It was a relationship which Gide exalted-- he termed it the central drama of his existance-- yet deliberately shrouded in mystery.
This was no ordinary marriage. Madeleine Rondeaux, two years older than her cousin Andre Gide, became his wife after Gide's first visit to Algeria. In his "Journal," Gide refers to her as Emmanuele or as Em. Only in this book, written after her death and published a few months after his own death, does Gide call her by her real name and painfully reveal hte nature of their life together. In French, the book was published as "Et Nunc Manet in Te"-- from the line attributed to Virgil concerning the lost Eurydice, "and now she remains in you."
All of Gide's vast work may be viewed as a confession, impelled by his need to write what he believed to be true about himself. In "Madeleine" this act of confession reaches a crowning point. It isa complex tale by a complex man about a complex relationship.