Prétextat Tach, Nobel laureate and one of the world’s most renowned contemporary novelists, has only two months to live. He has been living in seclusion for years, refusing interviews and public appearances. But as news of his impending death leaks, intrepid journalists from all over the world flock to his home in the hope of getting an interview with the elusive Tach. Five journalists finally gain entry, but one after the other they discover that, far from being the literary luminary they imagined, Tach has become an obese misogynist, a petulant bigot, an embittered, disgusting madman. The world’s most famous author turns out to be the worst misanthrope imaginable.
Nina, the fifth journalist to interview with Tach, will call his bluff and beat him at his own game. As Nina’s questions fly and the author’s biting responses arrive, Tach will be led to a final, definitive confrontation with the demons of his past.
Amélie Nothomb is one of Europe’s most successful and controversial authors. She wrote Hygiene and the Assassin, her first published novel, when she was only twenty-five. Winner of the Fournier and René Fallet prizes, it is now published in English for the first time.
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.