Dr. Samuel Johnson observed that everyone's life is a subject worthy of the biographer's art. Accused by a former girlfriend of being unable to empathize, the narrator of Alain de Botton's Kiss & Tell takes Johnson's idea to heart and decides to write about the next person who walks into his life.
He meets Isabel Rogers, a production assistant at a small stationery company in London, apparently an ordinary woman. But as the biographer's understanding of Isabel deepens, she becomes remarkable. Her smallest quirks, private habits, and opinions become worthy of the most painstaking investigation-and unexpectedly attractive to her biographer.
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Alain de Botton has crafted a delightfully ingenious novel in the form of a biography of an unknown woman. Told by a former flame that he lacks empathy, the engaging narrator of Kiss & Tell decides to write a book about the next person he meets. This turns out to be Isabel Rogers, a production assistant at a London stationery company. The sincere effort of this would-be Boswell to make this ordinary woman fascinating cause him to fall in love with her, causing a shift in his writing from an examination of Isabel's life to a minutely-detailed account of his relationship with her. Alain de Botton's earlier work, The Romantic Movement, garnered praise from John Updike and Pico Iyer, who called him "a Stendhal of the 90's dating scene."About the Author:
Alain De Botton was born in Switzerland in 1969, educated at Cambridge, and lives in London. He is the author of The Romantic Movement (Picador) and How Proust Can Change Your Life. His first novel, On Love, was published in fifteen countries, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction.
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