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.
Praise for Muriel Barbery
‘[The Life of Elves] could be read as an allegory for the challenges that face our modern world, from the controversy surrounding our borders to climate change. Or, it may be seen as a strange and poetic fantasy similar to the work of Tolkien. In either case, it is a beautiful book about what it means to be brave and how we all must work to save ourselves and each other.’ San Francisco Book Review
‘Bewitching’ … ‘[an] enchanting hero’s journey’ Foreword Reviews
‘At its best, Barbery’s imaginative tale reads as a mix of J.R.R. Tolkien and Hayao Miyazaki, epic in scope yet grounded by humor.’ Publishers Weekly
‘Readers who love meditative, dreamlike fiction will enjoy this translation, which rings with the music of the original French.’ Booklist
‘Barbery makes her characters come to life’ Guardian
‘The publishing phenomenon of the decade’ Le Figaro
‘Clever, informative and moving … admirable’ Observer
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.
Alison Anderson is the author of three novels and the translator of around 100 books, including works by Amélie Nothomb and J. M. G. Le Clézio.