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Harris, Joanne

(British, 1964– )

Joanne Harris's books ooze indulgence and sensuality, to the point where you might reasonably expect to see a warning of their calorie content printed on the covers. Chocolat (1998), which catapulted Harris into the best-seller lists, is a good introduction to her favourite themes of food and alchemy. A mysterious woman sets up a chocolate shop in the small French village of Lansquenet, and sparks a battle with the local priest for the hearts and souls of the villagers. The touch is light and witty; in Blackberry Wine (2000) addicts will enjoy even the silliness of part of the story being narrated by some bottles of wine. Five Quarters of the Orange (2001) has much darker undertones as middle-aged Framboise returns to the village of her childhood and is haunted by disturbing wartime secrets.

Tim Pears, Angela Carter, John Lanchester  RV

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)