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The Stranger Next Door
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ISBN
978-619-02-0141-0
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Format
Paperback
Size
13/20
Weight
150 gr.
Pages
144
Published
15 December 2017

The Stranger Next Door

Emile and Juliette Hazel have just purchased what will be their final home, set in a little clearing an hour's drive from the nearest town. Here, they think, is the place for an idyllic retirement, isolated from the rest of the world save for one neighbor, a doctor, on the far side of the clearing. One day, after they have spent a week in the house, the Hazels' new neighbor comes knocking at their door. Narrated by Emile, this simple story of social obligation yields with impending menace to a deeper exploration of the dangerous cost of restraint. With the peculiar logic of a dream, the doctor continues, unbidden, to visit his neighbors daily. And as he does so, the seed of disquiet in the Hazels' parlor bursts into full horror as Emile is forced to come to grips not only with the stranger next door but also with his own inner darkness.

About the Author
Amélie  Nothomb

Amélie Nothomb (born August 13, 1967) is a Belgian writer. She was born in Kobe, Japan to Belgian diplomats, before living in China, New York, Bangladesh, Burma, and Laos. Her first novel, "L'higiene de l'assassin" ("Hygiene and the Assassin") was published in 1992. Since then, she has published approximately one novel per year with a.o. "Les Catilinaires" (1995), "Fear and Trembling" (1999) and "Métaphysique des tubes" (published in English as "The Character of Rain") (2000).

She was awarded numerous prizes, including the Prix du Roman de L'Academie Francaise; the Prix Rene-Fallet; and twice the Prix Alain Fournier.

While in Japan, she attended a local school and learned Japanese. When she was five the family moved to China. "Quitter le Japon fut pour moi un arrachement" ("leaving Japan was a painful experience for me") she writes in "Fear and Trembling". Nothomb moved very often, before discovering Europe, more precisely, Brussels, where she reportedly felt as much a stranger as everywhere else. She studied philology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. After facing troubles in her family, she returned to Tokyo to work in a big Japanese company. Her experience of this time is told in "Fear and Trembling".

Amelie Notomb has already created an annual tradition in the literary world – a much anticipated publishing of a new novel, each year at the same time; this said, it is more than obvious that she has now attracted everybody’s attention. From the pompous premieres of her works in the bookstores of Champs-Elyssees to the pandemic cultural discussions surrounding her work, Amelie Notomb is defined as a contemporary legend. Her complex work of art intertwines cultural analysis, social subjects, and subtle style of writing that mixes together the sophistication of the Far East Asia with the rational sobriety of the Western civilization. A brilliant marketing strategist, an enigmatic figure and a very disciplined aesthete, Amelie Notomb has refocused the public attention towards the beauty of the French-language literature.

She now lives and writes in Brussels. She says she writes three novels a year, publishing only one.

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