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The Cheffe: A Culinary Novel

Marie NDiaye

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Paperback

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MacLehose Press
12 November 2019
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Fiction in translation; Food & society; Poverty & unemployment; Cookery, food & drink
Marie NDiaye is so intelligent, so composed, so good, that any description of her work feels like an understatement - Madeleine Schwartz, New York Review of Books Rich, meandering . . . NDiaye excels at luscious, forensic descriptions of the ritualistic preparation of food - Catherine Taylor, Mail on Sunday The Cheffe is born into a very poor family in Sainte-Bazeille in south-western France, but when she takes a job working in the kitchen of a couple in the Landes region, it does not take long before it becomes clear that the Cheffe has an unusual, remarkable talent for cooking. She dreams in recipes, she's always imagining food combinations and cooking times, she hunts down elusive flavours and aromas, and she soon usurps the couple's cook.

But for all her genius, the Cheffe remains very secretive about the rest of her life. She becomes pregnant, but will not reveal her daughter's father. She shares nothing of her feelings or emotions. And when the demands of her work and caring for her child become too much, she leaves her baby in the care of her family, and sets out to open her own restaurant, which will soon win rave reviews and be lauded by all.

But her relationship with her daughter will never be easy, and before long, it will threaten to destroy everything the Cheffe has spent her life perfecting.
By:   Marie NDiaye
Imprint:   MacLehose Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   380g
ISBN:   9780857058904
ISBN 10:   0857058908
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   12 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Marie NDiaye was born in France in 1967. She published her first novel at seventeen, and has won the Prix Femina (Rosie Carpe in 2001) and the Prix Goncourt (Three Strong Women, 2009). Her play Papa Doit Manger has been taken into the repertoire of the Comedie Fran aise. In 2007, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, NDiaye left France with her family to live in Berlin.

Reviews for The Cheffe: A Culinary Novel

There's the evenness of her prose, eminently polished, deliciously rhythmic, that seems to glide over the violence underneath . . . Who is this writer? And how did she get to be so good? - New York Review of Books Rich, meandering . . . NDiaye excels at luscious, forensic descriptions of the ritualistic preparation of food - Mail on Sunday A magnificent novel. A story of slow, violent beauty - Elle Seared with incandescent prose, imbued with generosity, The Cheffe is the work of a supreme writer - Obs A virtuoso novel that borrows from the classics to create the life of a cheffe. Subtly sublime - Les Inrockuptibles The Cheffe joins the remarkable procession of intense, passionate heroines of Marie NDiaye - Telerama


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