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Summary

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 empathise, the narrator of 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.

©1995 Alain de Botton (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"This ingenious, and even wise, novel elicits an almost continuous smile." ( The New Yorker)
"Original, intelligent, and beguiling.... You will get more than pure pleasure from reading...you may never again look at biography in quite the same way." (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World)
"Playful and adroit.... [A] sometimes essayistic, often funny meditation on biographical form which has at its root universal and problematic questions of how we know ourselves, and how we begin to understand others." (Sara Kramer, Boston Review)

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