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Waiting for Bojangles (Hardcover)
Bourdeaut's first novel packs a punch.It will make you burst into laughter, and then tears, but will leave you grateful for the ride. The story follows an eccentric family living in a Parisian apartment and is told from the perspective of a young boy whose mother is grappling with a degenerative mental illness, and a husband whose love for her only compounds over time. It's hard to believe the novel was translated from French, as its wit and rhyme cleverly shine through. Already a bestseller in France, this gem of a story and family will have English-speaking readers falling in love with it as well.— From Rebecca
The runaway international bestseller—shortlisted for one of France’s highest literary prizes—a dark, funny, and wholly charming novel about a young boy and his eccentric family who grapple with the realities of mental illness in unique and whimsical ways.
A young boy lives with his madcap parents, Louise and George, and an exotic bird in a Parisian apartment, where the unopened mail rises in a tower by the door, the bird acts like a member of the family, and his parents dance to Nina Simone’s mellifluous classic “Mister Bojangles.” As his mother, mesmerizing and unpredictable, descends deeper into mental illness, it is up to the boy and his father to keep her safe and, when that fails, happy. Fleeing Paris for a country home in Spain, they come to understand that some of the most radiant people bear the heaviest burdens.
Told from the perspective of a young boy who idolizes his parents and from George’s journals, detailing the epic love story with his wife, this charming, heartbreaking gem of a novel will stay with you long after the final page. As we read, their love story becomes ours.
About the Author
Olivier Bourdeaut is a writer living in France. Waiting for Bojangles is his first novel.
“This fanciful love story, fraught with sadness, is a sweet meditation on the more unorthodox gifts that parents leave the children they cherish.”
— Publishers Weekly (USA)
“A very well written story, with a touch of craziness, an awesome rhythm and a libertine use of words. I loved the book, I loved the subject. A wonderful mix of reality and invention. What a terrific book.”
— Jornal de Negócios (Portugal)
“A charming tale that revels in colorful detail and language and a heart-rending depiction of the brutal march of mental illness… A unique, evocative debut.”
— Kirkus Reviews (USA)
“In this novel, fantasy reigns supreme. The author plunges us into a delightful, joyful, and witty mess.”
— Elle (France)
“At once delightfully whimsical and hugely touching.”
— Library Journal (USA)
“Waiting for Bojangles reads like the love between the family: delightful and overwhelming.”
— El Correo (Spain)
“Bourdeaut tells the story with incredible ease, without falling into the ‘feel good’ trap.”
— SVT (Sweden)
“A worthy heir of a tradition that includes authors such as Queneau, Prévert and Romain Gary.”
— La Republica (Italy)
“Alternately delightful and melancholic.”
— Booklist, starred review (USA)
“The author succeeds in capturing the reader with this inspirational and humorous narrative. The poetry is overflowing at every moment.”
— Culture Now (Greece)
“This smart and memorable novel about a special family tells a universal story sure to leave an impact on the reader.”
— Vatan (Turkey)