Bitter Almonds

Bitter Almonds

Written by: Laurence Cossé
Translated by: Alison Anderson

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781609450892
  • 176 Pages
  • Europa Editions
  • Adult


Edith can hardly believe it when she learns that Fadila, her sixty-year-old housemaid, is completely illiterate. How can a person living in Paris in the third millennium possibly survive without knowing how to read or write? How does she catch a bus, or pay a bill, or withdraw money from the bank? Why it’s unacceptable! She thus decides to become Fadila’s French teacher. But teaching something as complex as reading and writing to an adult is rather more challenging that she thought. Their lessons are short, difficult, and tiring. Yet, during these lessons, the oh-so-Parisian Edith and Fadila, an immigrant from Morocco, begin to understand one other as never before, and from this understanding will blossom a surprising and delightful friendship. Édith will enter into contact with a way of life utterly unfamiliar to her, one that is unforgiving at times, but joyful and dignified.

Translated by Alison Anderson (The Elegance of the Hedgehog, A Novel Bookstore, The Most Beautiful Book in the World)


"Wry, sly, and coyly seditious, Cosse’s piquant satire is a subtly wrought manifesto against blatant consumer manipulation and media malfeasance." –Carol Haggas, Booklist

"Cosse poignantly depicts characters" –Publishers Weekly