Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Kiss & Tell

Kiss & Tell

A Novel

Alain de Botton



Trade Paperback

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 empathize, the narrator of Alain de Botton's 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.


Praise for Kiss & Tell

“Original, intelligent, and beguiling . . . You will get more than pure pleasure from may never again look at biography in quite the same way.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

“This ingenious, and even wise, novel elicits an almost continuous smile.” —The New Yorker

“An impressively ambitious book . . . More than just an offbeat romantic comedy--it's a provocative meditation on the essence of personality and the nature of the biographer's task.” —Michael Upchurch, The San Francisco Chronicle

“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

“Shows ingenuity. De Botton makes some witty and arch observations about the twentysomething English generation and its culture. Isabel may be alarmingly ordinary, but in his hands she is also fascinating.” —Greg Morago, The Hartford Courant

“Engaging and delightful...Such a writer could write the biography of a broomstick, as Dr. Johnson suggested, and it would come alive under his pen.” —Philip Glazebrook, The Spectator

“Rich, intelligent, and finely written...Alain De Botton provides not merely an engaging suburban love story, but a lip-smackingly irreverent take on the entire biographical genre.” —Paul Sussman, The Independent on Sunday

“Brilliantly erudite and amusing...De Botton is the boy wonder of contemporary English literature. What gives his novels their considerable charm is his winning combination of candor and intellect.” —The Tatler

“Genuinely funny...perceptive...cheerfully wrought...De Botton's prose is an arm wrestle of erudition with popular culture...His writing is endearing, not in the least remote, and attempts to return value and sophistication to a currency--the ever-Austenesque minuet of courtship and love.” —Rachel Cusk, The Times

“Happy . . . clever debunking of biographical objectivity.” —James Atlas, Vogue

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Alain de Botton

Alain De Botton was born in Switzerland in 1969, educated at Cambridge, and lives in London. He is the author of The Romantic Movement (Picador) and How Proust Can Change Your Life. His first novel, On Love, was published in fifteen countries, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction.

Alain de Botton

Vincent Starr

From the Publisher


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