Bitter Almonds (Paperback)
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From the pen of Laurence Cossé, author of A Novel Bookstore, comes this delightful story about friendship across racial and economic barriers set in contemporary paris.
Édith can hardly believe it when she learns that Fadila, her sixty-year-old housemaid, is completely illiterate. How can a person living in Paris in the third millennium possibly survive without knowing how to read or write? How does she catch a bus, or pay a bill, or withdraw money from the bank? Why, it's unacceptable! She thus decides to become Fadila’s French teacher. But teaching something as complex as reading and writing to an adult is rather more challenging that she thought. Their lessons are short, difficult, and tiring. Yet, during these lessons, the oh-so-Parisian Édith and Fadila, an immigrant from Morocco, begin to understand one other as never before, and from this understanding will blossom a surprising and delightful friendship. Édith will enter into contact with a way of life utterly unfamiliar to her, one that is unforgiving at times, but joyful and dignified.
About the Author
Laurence Cossé worked as a journalist before devoting herself entirely to fiction. She is the author of A Novel Bookstore. She lives in France.
Alison Anderson's translations for Europa Editions include novels by Sélim Nassib, Amélie Nothomb, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. She is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008) and The Life of the Elves (Europa, 2016) by Muriel Barbery.
Praise for Bitter Almonds
"Wry, sly, and coyly seditious, Cosse's piquant satire is a subtly wrought manifesto against blatant consumer manipulation and media malfeasance." —Carol Haggas, Booklist
"Cosse poignantly depicts characters."
Praise for Laurence Cosse's previous novels
"[A Novel Bookstore] makes a good argument for literature as a sensual pleasure surpassing even sex and fine wine."
—The Washington Post
"Marvelous and stimulating."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"A deeply satisfying manifesto of book love and a sharp indictment of those who would use such love for their own evil purposes."
—The Huffington Post
"The psychological issues Cossé raises [in An Accident in August] are telling and true."