December 2009 Good Housekeeping selection.
Perfect for soupcons of literary pleasure in between the celebrations, this tiny novel follows the tantalising quest of Pierre Arthens, food critic terrible. As he lies on his deathbed on Rue de Grenelle, he desperately tries to pinpoint the most delicious food he ever tasted, so he can savour it one last time. Interspersed with his search are recollections of his life from his children (a vast disappointment), his wife (a necessary adornment) and his concierge Renee (in Barberry’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a multi-million bestseller which was written after The Gourmet but published first, Renee plays the star role.) An esoteric treat for all foodies: the exquisite descriptions of eating are like nothing you will have read before.
France's greatest food critic is dying, after a lifetime in single-minded pursuit of sensual delights. But as Pierre Arthens lies on his death bed, he is tormented by an inability to recall the most delicious food to ever pass his lips, which he ate long before becoming a critic. Desperate to taste it one more time, he looks back over the years to see if he can pin down the elusive dish.
Revealing far more than his love of great food, the narration by this larger-than-life individual alternates with the voices of those closest to him and their own experiences of the man.
Muriel Barbery's gifts as an evocative storyteller are put to mouth-watering use in this voluptuous and poignant meditation on food and its deeper significance in our lives.
A delectable treat to savour.
Publication date: 01/09/2009
Publisher: Gallic Books
|Publication date:||1st September 2009|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation,|
Muriel Barbery teaches philosophy. The Elegance of the Hedgehog is her second novel, which has been highly acclaimed in the press and was awarded the Prix du Rotary international 2007. Her first book, Une gourmandise (Gallimard, 2000), translated into twelve languages was published by Gallic Books as The Gourmet in September 2009.More About Muriel Barbery