7229 BARBERY, Muriel Elegance of the Hedgehog, The
Softcover; Trade PB Europa Editions: NY; c2006, 2009; Reprint 325 pages Near Fine
Faintly edgeworn and rubbed; a lovely copy.; Translated from the French by Alison Anderson. Wonderfully written story told from the viewpoint of two residents of an upscale building in Paris. Renée, 54, "outwardly 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. Paloma is a twelve-year-old genius. 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 they are 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."; Occasionally we read 'non-Anglophile' books. :o) We enjoyed this beautifully written novel very much. (We also enjoyed the film.) Image is actual copy on offer.