LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2020 * LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2019 * LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2019 * LONGLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2019 * SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA CROWN AWARDS 2019 * 'A highly original novel' - Sunday Times, PAPERBACK BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2019
There is a space between life and death: it's called waxworks. Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed 'Little'. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius.
In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling. Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protegee head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike.
At 'The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius', heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax. From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a 'bloodstained crumb of a girl' went on to shape the world...
'Don't miss this eccentric charmer' - @MargaretAtwood * 'Absolutely brilliant' - Susan Hill * 'Rich and engrossing, there is an extraordinary potency to Carey's material ... A visceral, vivid and moving novel' - GUARDIAN * 'In this gloriously gruesome imagining of the girlhood of Marie Tussaud, mistress of wax, fleas will bite, rats will run and heads will roll and roll and roll. Guts'n'gore galore: I bloody loved it' - SPECTATOR * 'One of the most original historical novels of the year... Macabre, funny, touching and oddly life-affirming, Little is a remarkable achievement' - SUNDAY TIMES