In his new collection of stories, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World, probes the paradox that the events that shape our lives are often the stuff of dreams, yet nonetheless true. Humor, tenderness, irony and exquisite writing have always been the hallmarks of Schmitt’s work. Here, he adds a pinch of philosophy. In one story, a lovelorn writer seeks refuge in Ostende, a remote and charming town on the North Sea. His host is a solitary and eccentric octogenarian. The fairy-tale setting starts to work its magic and the old woman begins to tell her tale—an extraordinary story of passion. Bewitched by what he hears, the writer can no longer distinguish what is real from what is not, and in the woman’s account he will finally find a response to his own deep-seated grief. Here, as in the other stories in this collection, Schmitt displays the combination of stylishness and insight into the human condition that prompted Kirkus Reviews to write of his tales that they “echo Maupassant’s with their lean narratives, surprise endings, mordant humor and psychological acuity.” An exceptional collection by one of Europe’s most beloved authors.
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.