“This message is just to say I love you. Signed: You know who.” A love note is delivered anonymously to each inhabitant of Piazza Guy d’Arezzo in Brussels one morning, triggering a series of adventures and misadventures that, over 600 pages, develop into a sumptuous comedy of manners that is sexy, sensual, affecting, encyclopaedic, and unlike anything written previously by Schmitt.
Employing a roving camera technique that recalls both the stylish cinematic tradition of French New Wave and the films by Fellini and Antonioni, The Carousel of Desire is a sexual and romantic saga told with a master storyteller’s feel for character and plot, and a philosopher’s abiding preoccupation with what makes life truly worthwhile. Schmitt tells a colourful tale about class and community, about the varieties of human experience. His love of coincidence and serendipity is surpassed only by his affection for his all-too-human characters: Zachary Bidermann, the powerful E.U. commissioner; Faustina, the fashionable book publicist; François-Maxime de Couvigne, the happily married banker with more than a few secrets; Marcelle, enamoured of a handsome illegal immigrant; and Miss Beauvert, who makes love with her parrot, Copernicus. These and many more unforgettable characters animate this story of simmering desire and mischievous Eros.
“A narrative tour de force. Liberated, libertine, libertarian. A brilliant celebration of sexual and moral tolerance.”—La Provence
“The Carousel of Desire is a terrific encyclopedia of love and desire. A beautiful novel, at once light, funny, and sombre.” —L’express
“Dark comedy or philosophical tale? Both. With colourful, complex, and endearing characters.”—Le Figaro
“A hymn of praise to love . . . Religious? No, simply divine.”—Sud Ouest
Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is one of Europe’s most popular and acclaimed authors and playwrights. His many novels and story collections include The Most Beautiful Book in the World (Europa, 2009), Oscar & the Lady in Pink, and Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran. A keen music lover, Schmitt has also translated into French The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni from the original Italian. In 2001, he was awarded the French Academy’s Grand Prix du Théâtre. Schmitt divides his time between Paris, France, and Belgium.