Join us

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Newsletter

Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Cover: The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery

Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

2008, pp. 336, Paperback
ISBN: 9781933372600
Translated by: Alison Anderson
Region: France
Available as ebook Available as ebook Available as ebook
$ 17.00
Sample chapter Sample chapter Sample chapter
Reading group guide Reading group guide Reading group guide

The book

The phenomenal New York Times bestseller that “explores the upstairs-downstairs goings-on of a posh Parisian apartment building” (Publishers Weekly)

In an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible—short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she’s everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in an upscale neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: she furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants—her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth.

Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she’s come to terms with life’s seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Until then, she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop culture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.
Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and “teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors” (Kirkus Reviews).

“The narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson’s fluent translation) propel us ahead.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Barbery’s sly wit . . . bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations.”—The New Yorker

“Tender and satirical in its overall tone, yet most absorbing because of its reflections on the nature of beauty and art, the meaning of life and death...The intelligent Muriel Barbery has served readers well by giving us the gently satirical, exceptionally winning and inevitably bittersweet Elegance of the Hedgehog.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

The author

Muriel Barbery
Muriel Barbery is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008), Gourmet Rhapsody (Europa, 2009), The Life of Elves (Europa, 2016), and A Strange Country (Europa, 2020). She has lived in Kyoto, Amsterdam, and Paris, and now lives in the French countryside.

Press

From the same country

  • Cover: Reeling - Lola Lafon

    Lola Lafon

    Reeling

    2022, pp. 192, $ 17.00
    Award-winning author, Lola Lafon continues her exploration of the psyches of young girls–their fragility, their resilience. Fontenay,...
  • Cover: The Forests - Sandrine Collette

    Sandrine Collette

    The Forests

    2022, pp. 288, $ 18.00
    Winner of the 2020 Grand Prix RTL-Lire, a powerful novel about a man’s desperate quest to bring new life to a desolate world. Nobody wanted...
  • Cover: In His Own Image - Jérôme Ferrari

    Jérôme Ferrari

    In His Own Image

    2022, pp. 192, $ 17.00
    From Goncourt Prize-winning author Jérôme Ferrari, a bewitching story of passion, death, and love, and a powerful reflection on the ambiguous...
  • Cover: The Hanged Man of Conakry - Jean-Christophe Rufin

    Jean-Christophe Rufin

    The Hanged Man of Conakry

    2021, pp. 208, $ 17.00
    Something has got Aurel Timescu’s attention: an unsolved and apparently unsolvable crime. A vacationer has been found hanged. And it is a crime...
  • Cover: Suiza - Bénédicte Belpois

    Bénédicte Belpois

    Suiza

    2021, pp. 224, $ 17.00
    How transformative can love actually be? Across the Galician countryside, where there are just as many rain-soaked days as not, villagers...
  • Cover: The Storm of Echoes Book Four of the Mirror Visitor Quartet - Christelle Dabos

    Christelle Dabos

    The Storm of Echoes
    Book Four of the Mirror Visitor Quartet

    2021, pp. 528, $ 20.00
    “The Mirror Visitor stands on the same shelf as Harry Potter.”— ELLE Magazine The gripping finale to Christelle Dabos’s international...

Join Our Newsletter and receive a FREE eBook!

Stay updated on Europa’s forthcoming releases, author tours and major news.

Are you a bookseller? Click here!

X