An entertaining and gorgeously illustrated portrait of a writer’s life avec chats from the acclaimed author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog – and her four cats.
Like so many writers, Muriel Barbery is a lover of cats. Grey-furred and amber-eyed (matching her home décor), Barbery’s four Chartreux cats keep her company as she works from her house in the French countryside, entertaining her with their quirks and foibles, inspiring her with their beauty, and soothing her nerves.
But that’s not all. For Kirin, Ocha, Mizu and Petrus – named after the writer’s love of all things Japanese, and, in true French style, of good wine – are no ordinary felines. These intelligent creatures have taken it upon themselves to guide their owner’s writing – flicking aside sections of her manuscript with a disdainful tail, pointing an approving paw at others. And it’s time these put-upon literary consultants got the recognition they deserve.
With delicious wit and irony, the international bestselling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog gives an insight into her writing life – and the paws behind the pen. Accompanied by delightful illustrations by Maria Guitart, The Writer’s Cats is the perfect gift for cat lovers and book lovers everywhere.
Muriel Barbery is a former lecturer in philosophy and the author of four novels, including the IMPAC-shortlisted multimillion-copy bestseller The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Published in France in 2006 and in the UK in 2008, the novel was translated in 44 countries, selling more than 10 million copies worldwide, and was described by Le Figaro as ‘the publishing phenomenon of the decade’.
Alison Anderson is an author and the translator of around 100 books from French, including Muriel Barbery’s previous novels and works by Amélie Nothomb and J. M. G. Le Clézio.
Maria Guitart was born in Barcelona in 1978. She holds a degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona and a certificate of Higher Technical Education in Illustration from the Massana School of Art and Design. Currently, she combines her job as an illustrator with work as an editor of international fiction.
Praise for The Elegance of the Hedgehog
‘Resistance is futile … you might as well buy it before someone recommends it for your book group. Its charm will make you say yes’ The Guardian
‘Clever, informative and moving … this is an admirable novel which deserves as wide a readership here as it had in France.’ The Observer
‘The novel wins over its fans with a life-affirming message, a generous portion of heart and Barbery’s frequently wicked sense of humor’ Time Magazine
‘A book of great charm and grace.’ The Metro ‘The book’s attractive, Amélie-esque Parisian setting and cast of eccentrics will appeal to many’ Sunday Telegraph
‘This breathtakingly singular novel … is totally French yet completely universal’ Good Housekeeping
‘Reveals itself as a version of the Cinderella fairytale’ Financial Times
'Nobody ever imagined that this tender, funny book with a philosophical vein would have enjoyed such incredible success. For some, it is part Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, part Monsieur Malaussene by Daniel Pennac. While for others it resembles a written version of the film Amélie. Either way, readers are responding in vast numbers.' Le Monde
'The reader will be amused, surprised and moved by this philosophical tale: a user's guide to life which is a delight on every level.' Elle
'Enthusiastically recommended for anyone who loves books that grow quietly and then blossom suddenly.' Marie Claire