CS Richardson
The Emperor of Paris


Emperor of Paris by CS RichardsonFrom the author of internationally acclaimed The End of the Alphabet, the magical story of an unlikely romance between an illiterate Parisian baker and a woman with her head permanently buried in a book

Like his father before him, Octavio runs the Notre-Dame bakery, and knows the secret recipe for the perfect Parisian baguette. But, also like his father, Octavio has never mastered the art of reading and his only knowledge of the world beyond the bakery door comes from his own imagination. Just a few streets away, Isabeau works out of sight in the basement of the Louvre, trying to forget her disfigured beauty by losing herself in the paintings she restores and the stories she reads. The two might never have met, but for a curious chain of coincidences involving a mysterious traveller, an impoverished painter, a jaded bookseller, and a book of fairytales, lost and found…

Praise for CS Richardson’s The Emperor of Paris:

"The Emperor of Paris is brilliant; it lingers; I will read it again, and again. (In fact, I will read every novel Richardson writes.) If you love finely crafted sentences and spare, elegant prose; if you love charming characters and a tender, affecting story; if you love books and Paris and boulangeries, you will love this novel." —The Globe and Mail

"The Emperor of Paris is like no other book this year, full of the simplicity, vivacity, vividness, charm and wonder to sweep you off your feet by page three. It's a feeling adult readers have long had to leave behind for their children in stories about spiders' webs, wardrobes and chocolate factories ... With this sweetly sensational novel, Richardson has proved his international bestselling debut, The End of the Alphabet, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, was no fluke. Romantics, book lovers, day dreamers beware — C.S. Richardson is out to steal your heart." —New-Brunswick Telegraph-Journal

"... at once a painterly novel and a writerly one, the language delivered in the careful, enigmatic, deliberately restrained brush ... and ... the spareness of Richardson's approach has the opposite effect of what one might expect: his restraint with details lends weight and significance to every word, every image, and the novel shimmers with the heightened clarity of a dream." —National Post

"Like Richardson's 2007 debut novel, The End of the Alphabet, The Emperor of Paris is a rare gem of a book. The prose is considered, yet light and engaging. The plot is careful, ephemeral and tightly wound. The book picks you up, then spins you along. Sharply, sweetly unforgettable." —January Magazine

"The Emperor of Paris is a rich and well-told story of the transcendent power of art; it would not be surprising if it were to gain even greater accolades than The End of the Alphabet." —Quill & Quire

"It is much too early in the year to be picking the year's best books but I will be shocked if I read 5 novels better than [The Emperor of Paris] in 2012. Well, I'd be delighted actually as that would mean I will have read at least 6 perfectly presented stories that make one think back, meditate, feel and enjoy in warmth and human sympathy." —Herald de Paris

Genre/Category: Literary fiction
Length: 288 pages
Setting: Paris, France
Publication Date: Fall 2012

English (Canada) rights, Doubleday Canada
Dutch rights, Nieuw Amsterdam
French Canada rights, Éditions Alto
English (UK) rights, Portobello

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

CS Richardson
Phot Credit: Curtis Lantinga
  CS Richardson’s first novel, The End of the Alphabet, was an international bestseller published in thirteen countries and ten languages. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada & the Caribbean), it was named on four Best of the Year lists and was adapted for radio drama by BBC Radio 4. Richardson is also an accomplished and award-winning book designer. He lives and works in Toronto.

The End of the Alphabet