Check It Out: Little by Edward Carey
This is Kelsey Patterson with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. Today, I’m recommending Little by Edward Carey.
Though the title is short and sweet, this novel is anything but. Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked describes Little as, “An amazing achievement…a compulsively readable novel, so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Margaret Atwood? Judge for yourself.”
In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she becomes the unpaid apprentice to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seedy side of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation.
As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is churning—the revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and…at the wax museum, heads are what they do. A darkly endearing novel, Little is the unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.
Little took Edward Carey an astonishing 15 years to complete. But after reading it, I can totally understand why. It’s a thoroughly engrossing read!
Check out Little and other captivating works of biographical fiction like it at the Sioux City Public Library.
Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.