When people come to me for book recommendations, I'm often asked about books in French to read. That's why this week I wanted to suggest Lorsque j'étais une oeuvre d'art (When I Was a Work of Art) by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt.
I read it when I was in college for a class where we were trying to define beauty. I'm so glad I was introduced to it, because I absolutely love this book.
The story is about a man who's always felt average. His whole family was beautiful and he felt like he could never shine beside his siblings. So, because of his extremely low self esteem, he decides to kill himself. Enters Zeus-Peter Lama, the Faust-like character that comes with a bargain for our main character; instead of killing himself he lets him do whatever he wants him him to turn him into a work of art. We're talking Frankenstein level plastic chirurgies. Our main character's got nothing to lose so he agrees and is reborn as Adam bis.
Soon enough Adam bis realizes that living as a work of art is not what he thought it would be, and after meeting Carlos, a painter, and his daughter, he starts to question what art and beauty truly mean.
This is a very interesting book, about loving someone beyond what they look like, and your own perspective of yourself. The questions you'll come across in this book can definitely come handy in your own writing.
Also, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is just an outstanding writer. All the books and short story collections I've read from him were amazing. He's a extremely talented writer.
If you're not an experienced French reader it might be a little tricky to understand, but I promise the story is worth the effort.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!