L'Élégance du Hérisson is by Muriel Barbery, a French novelist and professor of philosophy. The popular book follows the life events of a concierge, Renée Michel, whose deliberately concealed intelligence is uncovered by an unstable but intellectually precocious girl named Paloma Josse, who lives in the Parisian apartment building where Renée works.
The New York Times explains that both narrators “create eloquent little essays on time, beauty and the meaning of life, Renée with erudition and Paloma with adolescent brio.” The novel does consist of many essays on philosophy but the New York Times explains that “even when the novel is most essayistic, the narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices propel us ahead.” Barbery's fantastic novel won many prizes, including the Prix du Rotary International in France.
In 2009 the novel was adapted into a film called Le Hérisson, which was greatly received by critics. L'Élégance du Hérisson is an enjoyable and accessible read that will prove to be impossible to put down!
Coeur de Pirate (Pirate's heart) is a French Canadian singer/songwriter and pianist. Her real name is Beatrice Martin. She sings mostly in French and has been credited with bringing la chanson française to a whole new generation of Quebec youth.
She began her recording career in 2007, posting demo versions of her songs on MySpace.
Nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2009 Juno Awards, Coeur de Pirate was released in France in 2009 in association with Universal Music. It became a big hit there, reaching the Top Ten of the French albums chart for several weeks in summer 2009 and spawning the Top Five hit single "Comme des Enfants."
1. Stir to dissolve the salt in the water.
2. Add the east and stir through.
3. Add flour half cup by half cup. No need to stir too long.
4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
5. Knead dough for 10 to 15 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
6 Cover and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour, overnight is even better!
7. Using your fist, punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth.
8. Pre-heat the oven at 450F and bake for 35 to 45 min.
Georges Brassens (22 October 1921 - 29 October 1981), is a singer-songwriter from Sète, France. He is an iconic figure and he has become a legendary part of French musical heritage. He is well known to have written and sang more than a hundred of his poems with his guitar, he sang many other authors' texts as well. Brassens recorded La Ballade Des Dames Dus Temps Jadis in 1953. The song is a poem by Francois Villon.
Original Recipe curtesy of Gourmet Traveller Australia
Illustrated by Katryn Smith