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Publication date
1st October 2018


Aardvark Bureau

PB Demy

Extent (number of pages)



UK, Europe & BC ex Can

BIC category



Author Edward Carey


Based on the incredible life story of the world’s most famous wax sculptor, Marie Tussaud.
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“There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks”
Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employment in the home of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. There the pair form an unlikely bond, and together pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling.
Forced to flee, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax.
From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of the Reign of Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…
Also available as a limited edition hardback – here!
‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer!’ — @Margaret Atwood
Little is an amazing achievement. Devote yourself to its first few pages and you will be sentenced to finishing it. I was thrilled not just by the story and the human grotesquerie of it, but by the narrative gallop and the prose, so often quietly startling in the application of a solitary mot juste. A compulsively readable novel, so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Margaret Atwood? Judge for yourself.’ —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
Little is that rare thing – a unique novel with a unique and fully-realised voice, rich in deadpan wit and surgically precise observation. By turns tragic, bizarre and deeply moving Little introduces readers to a heroine like no other and a book that will truly last. It is an absolute delight.’ — A.L Kennedy
‘What a bizarrely brilliant book. An absorbing, moving and darkly humorous reimagining of the life of Marie Groscholtz, the little servant girl who would become Madame Tussaud.’ — Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing
‘An exquisitely disturbing treasure of a novel. Sensual, unassumingly poignant, hilarious, heartbreaking, cruel, joyous: Edward Carey’s Little is a triumph and one of the most intoxicating novels I’ve read. I never wanted to leave Marie’s side.’ —Sarah Schmidt, author of See What I Have Done
‘It’s hard to imagine a better subject for Edward Carey’s particular genius than the life of Madame Tussaud’ Charles Lambert, author of The Children’s Home
Praise for Edward Carey
‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising, philosophical’ Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries
‘Iremonger torques and tempers our memories of Dickensian London into a singularly jaunty and creepy tale of agreeable misfits. Read it by gas lamp, with a glass of absinthe at your wrist and a fireplace poker by your knee.’ — Gregory Maguire, author of WICKED
‘Conveyed with so much sympathy and acute observation that it is hard not to be beguiled’ The Times
‘Carey writes with such persuasive authority, and we are inclined to believe him’ New York Times Review of Books
‘Edward Carey is one of the strangest writers we are privileged to have in this country’ Observer
‘A story wondrous fine, full of terrors and marvels.’ Kirkus, Starred Review
‘Edward Carey is an enormously talented writer’ Publishers Weekly
‘If this were music, Carey would be Eric Satie. If it were film, he would be Tim Burton’ Newsday
Bonus Material
13 Facts You Did Not Know About ‘Little’
Listen to Edward talking about characters and illustrations
Edward Carey

Meet the author

Novelist, visual artist and playwright. He has written and produced several plays. His debut novel ‘Obersvatory Mansions’ (with author’s illustrations) is sold in 14 countries and was described by John Fowles as ‘proving the potential brilliance of the novel form’. Born in England, he teaches at the…

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