The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

  • December 2, 2009 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (French: L'Élégance du hérisson) is a novel by the French novelist and professor of philosophy Muriel Barbery. The book follows events in the life of a concierge, Renée Michel, whose deliberately concealed intelligence is uncovered by an unstable but intellectually precocious girl named Paloma Josse. Paloma is the daughter of an upper-class family living in the upscale Parisian apartment building where Renée works.

Featuring a number of erudite characters, The Elegance of the Hedgehog is full of allusions to literary works, music, films, and paintings. It incorporates themes relating to philosophy, class consciousness, and personal conflict. The events and ideas of the novel are presented through the thoughts and reactions, interleaved throughout the novel, of two narrators, Renée and Paloma. The changes of narrator are marked by switches of typeface. In the case of Paloma, the narration takes the form of her written journal entries and other philosophical reflections; Renée's story is also told in the first person but more novelistically and in the present tense.

First released in August 2006 by Gallimard, the novel became a publishing success in France the following year, selling over a million copies. It has been translated into several languages, and published in a number of countries outside France, including the United Kingdom and the United States, attracting critical praise for both the work and its author.

Join or login to comment.

  • Karen

    I loved this book it was quite thought provoking and made you think about the invisible parts of a persons mind and into how and why we might feel invisible ourselves at time... I guess we could all be a little nicer to a shy person and give them a chance to show there specialty... I have felt invisible many times... A great read.. I'd like to read authors next book.. Gourmet Rhapsody ...

    December 3, 2009

4 went

Your organizer's refund policy for The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy