One of BBC Culture's Ten Books to Read this March and The Rumpus Book Club Pick for March
Maylis de Kerangal follows up her acclaimed novel The Heart with a dissection of the world of a young Parisian chef
More like a poetic biographical essay on a fictional person than a novel, The Cook is a coming-of-age journey centered on Mauro, a young self-taught cook. The story is told by an unnamed female narrator, Mauro's friend and disciple who we also suspect might be in love with him. Set not only in Paris but in Berlin, Thailand, Burma, and other far-flung places over the course of fifteen years, the book is hyperrealistic―to the point of feeling, at times, like a documentary. It transcends this simplistic form, however, through the lyricism and intensely vivid evocative nature of Maylis de Kerangal's prose, which conjures moods, sensations, and flavors, as well as the exhausting rigor and sometimes violent abuses of kitchen work.
In The Cook, we follow Mauro as he finds his path in life: baking cakes as a child; cooking for his friends as a teenager; a series of studies, jobs, and travels; a failed love affair; a successful business; a virtual nervous breakdown; and―at the end―a rediscovery of his hunger for cooking, his appetite for life.
About the Author
Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several books in French, including Naissance d'un pont, (published in English as Birth of a Bridge), which won of the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Médicis in 2010; Réparer les vivants, which won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire and the Student Choice Novel of the Year from France Culture and Télérama and whose English translation, The Heart, was one of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Fiction Works of 2016 and the winner of the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize; and Un chemin de tables, whose English translation, The Cook, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She lives in Paris.
Carly Robins is an actress and voice-over artist. She can be heard in commercials, video games, and promos. She comes to audiobook narration with a passion for performance along with the capability to span several genres, from romance to children's literature and thrillers.
Sam Taylor grew up in Arizona's deserts and now lives among Connecticut's trees. She spends her days writing, being mom to the world's cutest kiddos, whirling through dance workouts, and baking too many cakes. She does not possess fire magic, but does have one fire-colored cat. We Are the Fire is her debut novel.