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Amélie Nothomb - The Book of Proper Names

Amélie Nothomb - The Book of Proper Names

The much celebrated French writer Amélie Nothomb explains the key points of her 2002 novel 'The Book of Proper Names' (in French: Robert des noms propres). The book is a romanticized account of the life of the singer RoBERT, whom Nothomb became acquainted with as an avid admirer of her songs.

"In a vaguely surreal story, an extraordinary little girl is born from strange circumstances - her mother murdered her father, gave birth in prison, and then hanged herself. Plectrude, as the girl is unfortunately named by her mother, is adopted by her aunt and lives a fairy-like existence until she enrolls into the Paris Opera Ballet School, a rigorous institution portrayed as a 'scalpel to slice away the last flesh of childhood.'"