Seizure begins with hints of instability and violence. A woman stands in front of a mirror, daubing her mouth with an old, caked lipstick. In the room behind her, there is a bloodstained knife and a man who may well be dead. It could be a dream, or a vision of the future. Like a folktale or ballad, or a lay by the medieval poet Marie de France, the scene invites the reader to speculate about powerful feelings. It also establishes the atmosphere of this unsettling novel: poetic, passionate, and poised in the hinterland between fantasy and real life.