Before he wrote En attendant Bojangles (Waiting for Bojangles) in seven weeks at his parents’ home, 35-year-old Olivier Bourdeaut had "failed at just about everything else".
His last job was as a switchboard operator for an educational publishing company, "surrounded by all the books that tortured me as a child". Like the boy narrator in his book, Bourdeaut was always getting his letters and numbers mixed up. But in the three months since his beautifully written tale of a boy growing up in a bohemian home where unopened bills pile up like mountain ranges in the hall, he has won several of France’s top literary awards and his book has risen to the top of the bestseller lists.
His story has charmed critics and public alike.