Charlotte

David Foenkinos

Is this how one becomes an artist? By growing accustomed to the madness of others?
Charlotte by David Foenkinos (Paperback ISBN 9781782117964) book cover

Available as Paperback, Hardback, eBook

4 January 2018

The international bestseller: the tragic and triumphant story of one of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary but little-known artists. ‘Sad, beautiful, indignant, wrenching, important’ Sarah Perry, author of THE ESSEX SERPENT

Charlotte Salomon is born into a family stricken by suicide and a country at war. But there is something exceptional about her - she has a gift, a talent for painting. And she has a great love, for a brilliant, eccentric musician. But just as she is coming into her own as an artist, death is coming to control her country. The Nazis have come to power and, as a Jew in Berlin, Charlotte’s life is narrowing, and she knows every second is precious.

Inspiring, unflinching, terrible and hopeful, Charlotte is the heartbreaking true story of a life filled with curiosity, animated by genius and cut short by hatred.


“I am deeply, deeply affected by this sad, beautiful, indignant, wrenching, important book … It is an artistic privilege and (I think) almost a moral duty that you all read this”
Sarah Perry, Author Of The Essex Serpent

See more reviews

“From its striking first sentence there is no turning away … A far superior tribute to any commemorative plaque”
Sara Baume
irish Times

“Unforgettable, poetic”
sunday Independent

“Quietly but deeply moving, incredibly powerful in its simplicity”
Claire North, Author Of The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August

“A life-changer”
Polly Clark, Author Of Larchfield


David Foenkinos

David Foenkinos is an award-winning French novelist and screenwriter. Charlotte, inspired by the life of Charlotte Salomon, won the Prix Renaudot and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens; it has sold more than half a million copies in France and been translated into nineteen languages.

Sam Taylor previously translated HHhH, by Laurent Binet, and is the author of the novels The Island at the End of the World, The Amnesiac and The Republic of Trees. He lives in France and the United States.

Charlotte Salomon was born in Berlin, 1917. Unknown in her lifetime, she was one of Germany’s great modern artists. Her greatest achievement was Life? or Theatre? A Song-play - an autobiographical series of 769 works, which she painted over two years in the South of France while in hiding from the Nazis. It has gone on to inspire films, plays and an opera. Salomon died in Auschwitz in 1943, gassed along with her unborn child shortly after her arrival.