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Amélie Nothomb

© Catherine Cabrol

Amélie Nothomb

Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan of Belgian parents in 1967. She lives in Paris. Since her debut on the French literary scene a little more than a decade ago, Amélie Nothomb has published a novel a year, every year. Her edgy fiction, unconventional thinking, and public persona have combined to transform her into a worldwide literary sensation. Amélie's books have been translated into over fifteen different languages and been awarded numerous prizes including the French Academy’s 1999 Grand Prix for the Novel, the René-Fallet prize,  the Alain-Fournier prize, and the Grand Prix Giono in 2008.

All Amélie Nothomb's books

Upcoming events

from the Columbia Daily Spectator's Arts & Culture Insert, The Eye Shooting from the Side amélie nothomb’s autobiographical memoir explores the complexity of language and relationships “I’ll...
David Burleigh from the Japan Times has named Amélie Nothomb's Tokyo Fiancée one of the best books of 2009. Meanwhile, (unofficial) word has it that Amélie's story of love in the...
Publishers Weekly has selected Amélie Nothomb's forthcoming novel Hygiene and the Assassin as its Pick of the Week. In November, Europa will publish the first English translation of Hygiene...
An excerpt from Amélie Nothomb's newest novel, Pétronille, is featured on Fiction Advocate.

Latest reviews

  • In her latest, Pétronille (2014; tr. from the French by Alison Anderson, 2015), “the author,” let’s call her Amélie, is back to examine her odd, slightly threatening, relationship with another author, Pétronille Fanto...
    — The Mookse and the Gripes, Nov 5 2015
  • In late 1997, thirty-year-old rising literary star Amélie Nothomb moves to Paris. While there, she embarks on a search for a drinking companion—not just any old lover of liquor, however; Nothomb is in search of a partner whose adoration for champagne, specifically, matches her own.
    — Backlisted, Nov 2 2015
  • At 108 pages, Pétronille is a slight, frothy bubble of a book, in Amélie Nothomb's signature lighthearted style. Though not quite what readers might expect from Nothomb, it's a genuinely funny and touching tribute to a friendship between two young female novelists in Paris.
    — Shelf Awareness, Oct 16 2015
  • “Intoxication doesn’t just happen. It’s an art,” Nothomb (Hygiene and the Assassin) writes in her latest novel, dripping with champagne and mischief. The protagonist, Nothomb, is a bibulous author in search of a “comvinion” (a drinking companion) and ends up with...
    — Sep 17 2015
  • Pétronille is narrated by an author matching Amélie Nothomb in all the essentials -- name, age, output -- and fits, more or less, in with the rest of Nothomb's autobiographical fiction (about every other novel). The novel covers almost two decades -- "My story begins in late...
    — Jul 8 2015
  • Our relationship with stories is an odd one - on one hand, stories fuel our imagination and extend our experiences into the unknown; on the other hand, we often dismiss stories as 'just a figment of imagination,' as if, not being realized somehow limits the effectiveness of fiction...
    — May 21 2015
  • Partly epistolary novel with a narrator named Amélie, who is almost indistinguishable from the author. The novel raises questions of war, dependence and the nature of writing and proves Nothomb’s originality. About the Author Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan of Belgian...
    — Nov 25 2014
  • Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series, and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of...
    — Feb 19 2014
  • When a successful, well-known French author engages in a prolonged correspondence with a troubled American fan, both of their identities are brought into question. LIFE FORM is a probing exploration of the meaning of friendship and human connection. Amélie Nothomb skillfully...
    — May 15 2013
  • LIFE FORM, an epistolary novel by the prolific Belgian author Amelie Nothomb, begins as the prolific Belgian author Amelie Nothomb receives "a new sort of letter" in the mail. The letter is from Melvin Mapple, an American soldier stationed in Iraq who reveals...
    — Mar 28 2013
  • “I need to be very hungry all the time,” celebrated Belgian novelist and disordered eater Amélie Nothomb once admitted. “I need to be very hungry to write.” For her nineteenth book, LIFE FORM, Nothomb has applied her preternaturally original mind to those two...
    — Mar 15 2013
  • So, I've read two of Amélie Nothomb's books in the past (HYGIENE AND THE ASSASSIN and TOKYO FIANCEE) and loved the first and was kind of lukewarm on the other. I think Nothomb is one of those writers whose every book is a little bit different and whose only consistent feature...
    — Feb 20 2013
  • font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Verdana"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p { margin-right: 0in; margin-left: 0in; font-size:...
    — Feb 19 2013
  • In 2009, the Pentagon reported that the number of troops diagnosed as overweight or obese had more than doubled since the start of the Iraq occupation – from 2% to 5% of those deployed. I’m guessing that the story, which ran in newspapers globally, was the trigger for...
    — Feb 18 2013
  • Belgian novelist Amélie Nothomb (FEAR AND TREMBLING, TOKYO FIANCEE) is in the habit of building her quirky tales around a character named “Amélie.” This fictional Amélie is always getting in over her head, even with her most sincere and direct efforts. But...
    — Feb 11 2013
  • Last week I wrote about REVENGE, the first book I read by Yoko Ogawa, a name I’d heard many times over the past few years and had always felt I should read. This week I’m writing about Amélie Nothomb’s latest in English, LIFE FORM (UNE FORME DE VIE, 2010; tr. from...
    — Feb 5 2013
  • font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }@font-face { font-family: "Garamond"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Belgian author Nothomb receives a letter from...
    — Jan 31 2013
  • LIFE FORM is again one of Amélie Nothomb's arguably autobiographical works (she alternates between these and her more fantastical inventions): except for the central character, "Tout est vrai, d'ailleurs, dans ce roman" ('Everything is true in this novel'), she claims...
    — Dec 14 2012
  • I had heard of Amélie Nothomb but had never gotten around to reading anything by her. Till I picked up her latest novella, LIFE FORM, and was blown away by its sheer magnificence and the author’s story-telling capacity. LIFE FORM is one of those books which has it all...
    — Dec 12 2012