A Leopard-Skin Hat
A Leopard-Skin Hat may be the French writer Anne Serre’s most moving novel yet. Hailed in Le Point as a “masterpiece of simplicity, emotion and elegance,” it is the story of an intense friendship between “the Narrator” and his close childhood friend, Fanny, who suffers from profound psychological disorders. A series of short scenes paints the portrait of a strong-willed and tormented young woman battling many demons, and of the narrator’s loving and anguished attachment to her. Anne Serre poignantly depicts the bewildering back and forth between hope and despair involved in such a relationship, while playfully calling into question the very form of the novel. Written in the aftermath of the death of the author’s little sister, A Leopard-Skin Hat is both the celebration of a tragically foreshortened life and a valedictory farewell, written in Anne Serre’s signature style.