From the Publisher
Praise for Gourmet Rhapsody
"Gourmet Rhapsody shows all the skill of Hedgehog and deals with the same themes: social class, philosophy, Japan and food, glorious descriptions of all kinds of food."
"Barbery demonstrates sensitivity and profound understanding both of life's many flavors and of the ways of the human soul, with all its weaknesses and contradictions."
—Food & Beverage Magazine (Italy)
"In the pages of this book, Barbery shows off her finest gift: lightness."
Praise for The Elegance of the Hedgehog
"Two characters provide the double narrative of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and you will—this is going to sound corny—fall in love with both."
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"A beautiful story with a large cast of fascinating, complicated characters whose behavior is delightfully unpredictable."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Both [of the book's protagonists] create eloquent little essays on time, beauty and the meaning of life, Renée with erudition and Paloma with adolescent brio."
—The New York Times
"Wins over its fans with a life-affirming message."
French novelist Barbery's sensuous first novel, being released here after the phenomenal success of her second novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, encompasses a series of witty reflections on the life and career of famous, unlovable French food critic Pierre Arthen, as he lies on his death bed desperate to recapture "a forgotten flavor." Lapsing through chapters into nostalgic memories of early, formative tastes, women and pets, Arthens reveals himself as a man driven by "gastronomic ecstasies," from his childhood impressions of eating grilled meat in Tangiers to summers gorging on fresh fish in Brittany. Alternating with these splendid remembrances are decidedly more salty commentary by his resentful children ("Die in your silk sheets, in your pasha's bed, in your bourgeois cage, die, die, die"); long-suffering wife, Anna; the exultant tramp outside his Paris apartment building whom he ignored for 10 years; even his faithful cat, Rick (named for the character in the film Casablanca). Barbery's debut, occasionally rough-edged and uneven in structure, showcases her lush and satisfying prose and sets the stage for what has come. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.