The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Written by: Muriel Barbery
Translated by: Alison Anderson

Format
Paperback
Price
$15.00
 
Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781933372600
  • 336 Pages
  • Europa Editions
  • Adult

Overview

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence. 

Then there’s Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. 


Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renée’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Written by: Muriel Barbery, Translated by: Alison Anderson

Awards

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award – winner

Praise

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
INDIEBOUND TOP TEN BESTSELLER
A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

Praise for The Elegance of the Hedgehog

“Gently satirical, exceptionally winning and inevitably bitersweet.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is about love. But not the sappy, head-over-heels variety. Rather, it’s about the love of one’s friends. It’s about the love you can experience when you connect with strangers. And it’s about the possibility—but just that—of romantic love.”—The Huffington Post

“Both [of the book’s protagonists] create eloquent little essays on time, beauty and the meaning of life, Renée with the erudition and Paloma with adolescent brio.”—The New York Times 

“This fable of love, frienship and the beauty of art not only gives innocence a voice, but also shows what a powerful novel can do: transport, educate and, ultimately, console.”—The Toronto Star

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a high-wire performance.”—Los Angeles Times

Hedgehog is really an international book, focused as it is on universal topics of childhood, philosophy, love, and art.”—The Daily Beast 

“This story, like all great tales, will break your heart, but it will also make you realize—or remember—that sometimes the pain is worth it.”—Chicago Sun-Times 

Extras

Book Website
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