Amélie Nothomb

Amélie Nothomb is a Belgian Francophone novelist known for her prolific output and distinctive style. She has written numerous novels, many of which have been translated into various languages. Her works often explore themes of identity, alienation, and the human condition.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Hygiene And The Assassin

    The book revolves around the final days of a Nobel Prize-winning author who, after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, agrees to a series of interviews having shunned public attention for decades. Known for his misanthropy and biting intellect, the author engages in verbal sparring with the journalists, each encounter more intense than the last. However, when a particularly astute and persistent female journalist enters the fray, the conversation takes an unexpected turn, leading to startling revelations about the author's past and the true nature of his controversial works. The narrative delves into themes of truth, deception, and the power dynamics inherent in the creation and interpretation of literature.

    The 6594th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Fear And Trembling

    The book is a psychological exploration of the clash between Western and Eastern business cultures, as seen through the eyes of a young Belgian woman working for a major Japanese corporation in Tokyo. The protagonist's initial fascination with the company's traditional Japanese corporate culture turns into a harrowing psychological ordeal as she confronts extreme work ethic, rigid hierarchies, and the challenge of maintaining her identity in the face of overwhelming conformity. Through her experiences, the novel delves into themes of alienation, the search for self, and the often surreal nature of cross-cultural encounters.

    The 7037th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Character Of Rain

    The book is a semi-autobiographical novel that explores the early years of a young girl born in Japan to Belgian parents. It delves into the protagonist's experiences and perceptions from her infancy through her toddler years, presenting a philosophical and introspective look at the development of consciousness and identity. The narrative is characterized by its exploration of the Japanese concept of 'the third brother,' which symbolizes the child's pre-linguistic state of purity and potential, and the transition from this state to becoming a sentient individual with a unique character shaped by cultural and familial influences. The story is a blend of whimsy and depth, reflecting on the nature of being and the transformative journey of self-discovery from the earliest moments of life.

    The 7136th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Tokyo Fiancée

    The book is a semi-autobiographical novel that delves into the complexities of cultural identity and love. It follows a young Belgian woman who, infatuated with Japanese culture, returns to Tokyo with the intention of immersing herself in the language and lifestyle. She begins a romantic relationship with a Japanese man, which becomes a conduit through which she explores the nuances of cross-cultural understanding and personal identity. As their relationship deepens, the couple navigates the challenges posed by their different backgrounds, leading to a poignant exploration of the intersection between desire, belonging, and the search for self amidst the backdrop of a bustling, enigmatic Tokyo.

    The 8635th Greatest Book of All Time