Employing wry humor and a deceptively simple style, Amélie Nothomb, the author of over twenty-three bestselling novels (over exactly twenty-three years!) writes about twin abiding passions: one for champagne, and the other for a riotous friendship between her protagonist and Pétronille Fanto, a woman who refuses to drink alone. This is a funny, moving, “exotic” novel about travel, France, Champagne, and, above all, about women’s friendship. The on-again/off-again friendship between Petronille and the main character in the book, a writer by the name of Amélie Nothomb, gives the story it verve and the novel its heart. This is literary Thelma & Louise, with a little bit of French panache and a whole lot of champagne thrown into the mix. Amélie Nothomb is one of Europe’s most successful and talked about authors. Hygiene and the Assassin, her first published novel, was published when she was only twenty-five and since then she has become a cult figure, occupying a unique position in the world of French and European fiction. Delightful and witty, Pétronille is further proof of Nothomb’s versatility and brilliance.
Amélie Nothomb was born in Japan to Belgian parents in 1967. She lives in Paris. Since her debut on the French literary scene a little more than a decade ago, she 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. She is the recipient of the French Academy’s 1999 Grand Prix for the Novel, the René-Fallet, Alain-Fournier, and Jean-Giono prizes.