Barbery
2010 Shortlist

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

We are in an elegant hotel in the centre of Paris. Renée, the building’s concierge, is short, ugly and plump. She is cantankerous and addicted to television soaps. In short, she is everything society expects from a concierge. But Renée has a secret; she is a ferocious autodidact who furtively devours art, philosophy, music and Japanese culture.

Then there’s Paloma, a super-smart twelve-year-old and the youngest daughter of the Josses, who live on the fifth floor. Talented, precocious, and startlingly lucid, she has come to terms with life’s seeming futility and has decided to end her own on the day of her thirteenth birthday.

Paloma and Renée discover their kindred souls when a new tenant arrives. He befriends Paloma, and sees through Renée’s timeworn disguise.  A moving, witty and redemptive novel.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Muriel
Barbery

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Alison
Anderson

Alison Anderson’s translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She has translated all of Muriel Barbery’s books, including the international bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Alison Anderson’s translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She has translated all of Muriel Barbery’s books, including the international bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

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