Miracle of the Rose was Jean Genet's second novel, composed in 1943 while the author was incarcerated in La Sante prison, and eventually published in 1946. The work itself is informed by Genet's memories of confinement, both in 'adult' prisons and the Mettray reformatory where he spent three years from the age of 15. However, as in his earlier Our Lady of the Flowers, Genet's imagination transfigures lived experience and makes for a vivid fictional world governed by the poetic force of his fantasies.
The central figure in the novel is Harcamone, whom Genet first encountered at Mettray and who resurfaces, unsurprisingly, in the adult prison of Fontevrault - now a murderer, and, in the world-turned-upside-down of Genet's vision, a quasi-divine figure. Genet further explores the path of his own sexuality through accounts of his physical relations with fellow inmates, including the burglar Bulkean and his ex-Mettray lover, Divers.