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About the Author
Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French, including Naissance d'un pont (published in English as Birth of a Bridge, winner of the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Médicis in 2010). She has also published a story collection, and a novella, Tangente vers l'est (winner of the 2012 Prix Landerneau). In 2014, Réparer les vivants was published to wide acclaim and won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire and the Student Choice Novel of the Year from France Culture and Télérama. Its English translation, The Heart (FSG, 2016), was one of The Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Fiction Works of 2016 and was the winner of the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize. She lives in Paris, France.
Sam Taylor has written for The Guardian, Financial Times, Vogue, and Esquire. He translated Maylis de Kerangal's The Heart, as well as the award-winning HHhH by Laurent Binet and the internationally bestselling The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker.
"A slim, bountiful, beautifully written (and gorgeously translated) 'Portrait of the Chef as a Young Man.'" --Nancy Klinke, The New York Times Book Review
"Brief but superb . . . An antidote to the bravado of kitchen confidentials and to the rise of celebrity chefs, the book is restrained, private, and careful." --The New Yorker
"This short book, beautifully translated by Sam Taylor, reads like a prose poem . . . de Kerangal's food writing is incantatory; the accumulation of minutiae hypnotic . . . I was left hungry for more." --Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
"Narrated with almost documentary-like precision . . . this portrait of self-taught chef Mauro is not just a beautifully delineated character study or inside look at a hard way to make a living but a perceptive meditation on the meaning of work itself . . . All this in just over 100 pages and done brilliantly. Highly recommended." --Library Journal (starred review)
"Inventive, delicate, unpretentious . . . As the artist emerges, The Cook intrigues, entices, and ultimately satisfies." --Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture
"Kerangal's concise tale is as engaging for the relatable ordinariness of its characters and events as for its tracking of a chef's professional development. The sparse prose increases the impact of carefully chosen details, and the translation retains the power of the compact novel's original French. Kerangal proves that the best reads can come in small packages." --Stacey Hayman, Booklist
"[The Cook] encompasses more emotional and sensory detail [than The Heart]; it's slim but potent . . . an admirable literary lagniappe." --Kirkus
"Fitfully delectable. . .[de Kerangal] takes readers on a brilliantly realized culinary tour of the world. . .[A] rich novel, particularly for armchair travelers."--Publishers Weekly