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Edition details


Publication date
17th May 2010


Extent (number of pages)

Alison Anderson


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BIC category




The Gourmet

(Une Gourmandise)


A voluptuous and poignant meditation on food and its deeper significance in our lives.


This title is not yet published, but can be pre-ordered


Muriel Barbery’s gifts as an evocative storyteller are used to mouthwatering effect in this voluptuous and poignant meditation on food and its deeper significance in our lives.

France’s greatest food critic is dying, after a lifetime in single-minded pursuit of sensual delights. But as Pierre Arthens lies on his deathbed he is tormented by an inability to recall the most delicious food ever to pass his lips, which he ate long before becoming a critic.

Desperate to taste it one more time, he looks back over the years to see if he can pin down the elusive dish. Revealing far more than his love of great food, the narration by this larger-than-life individual alternates with the voices of those closest to him and their own experiences of the man.

‘An exquisite French black comedy’ The Times
‘A foodie’s delight; just don’t read it when you’re hungry’ Daily Mail
‘Barbery has a knack for describing food, and for evoking the physical and emotional sensations it produces’ Financial Times
‘The exquisite descriptions of eating are like nothing you’ve read before’ Good Housekeeping
‘An ode to the pleasure of good food … mouthwatering from beginning to end’ Paris Match
Muriel Barbery

Meet the author

Muriel Barbery is a former lecturer in philosophy and the bestselling author of IMPAC-shortlisted novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Published in France in 2006 and in the UK in 2008, it has gone on to sell more than 6 million copies worldwide and has been described by Le Figaro as ‘the publishing…

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