August 2008 Indie Next List
“The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a beautifully written novel, translated from the French, with unforgettable characters, Renee, a concierge with a rich inner life, and Paloma, a surprisingly talented young girl. Read it and get a reality check on who we are beneath our images of age, class, and occupation.”
— Jane Jacobs, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
April 2009 Indie Next List
“This novel of two remarkable characters, set in an elegant Paris apartment building, is wonderfully written and translated! I loved the philosophical discussions and artistic descriptions -- my reading group talked about this book for hours.”
— Mary K. Cowen, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
September 2009 Indie Next List
“This story of an aging concierge and a 12-year-old girl in an exclusive apartment house in Paris was a huge hit in France. Pithy, erudite, and full of heart, this book should be on everyone's must-read list.”
— Lisa Wright, Oblong Books And Music,LLC., Millerton, NY
An enchanting "New York Times" and international bestseller and award-winner about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl.
Renee Michel is the 54-year-old concierge of a luxury Paris apartment building. Her exterior ( short, ugly, and plump ) and demeanor ( poor, discreet, and insignificant ) belie her keen, questing mind and profound erudition. Paloma Josse is a 12-year-old genius who behaves as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. She plans to kill herself on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday.
Both Renee and Paloma hide their true talents and finest qualities from the bourgeois families around them, until a wealthy Japanese gentleman named Ozu moves into building. Only he sees through them, perceiving the secret that haunts Renee, winning Paloma's trust, and helping the two discover their kindred souls. Moving, funny, tender, and triumphant, Barbery's novel exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
About the Author
MURIEL BARBERY is a French novelist and professor of philosophy. Her second novel "L' l gance du h risson" (translated into English as "The Elegance of the Hedgehog") topped the French best-seller lists for 30 consecutive weeks and is an international bestseller.
Barbara Rosenblat is a multi-award-winning voice actor for audiobooks. On Broadway, she created the role of 'Mrs. Medlock' in 'The Secret Garden'.
Cassandra Morris has received critical acclaim for her voice-over work from Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine. To date, she has narrated over one hundred audiobooks, earned seven Earphones Awards, and twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her voice has also been heard on television in commercial campaigns for Samsung, Silk Soy Milk, and numerous Nickelodeon and Disney products. She is the voice of many cartoon characters, including Leo and Luna in Yu-Gi-Oh, Carrie in Barbie: A Fairy Secret, Nathan in Pokemon, and Lola in Angelo Rules.