Prince in a Pastry Shop (Hardcover)
Much more than a tale of sweet indulgence, Prince in a Pastry Shop touches on a fundamental question important to us all, from preschooler to pensioner: what does it mean to be happy? Is happiness to be found in the smallest, most visceral of experiences like eating a sugar-dusted donut? Can we truly experience happiness while there is suffering in the world? Is there a great cosmic balance that demands for every happy moment there also be a moment of sorrow? Can we be happy knowing that it’s a fleeting condition? Can we really know and understand happiness while we’re experiencing it?
"Happiness is nothing but trouble,” says the Prince. For Prickly Pear, happiness simply tastes like a cupcake or profiterole.
Writer Marek Bieńczyk, the winner of the Nike prize, the most important literature award in Poland, joins with the brilliant Polish illustrator Joanna Concejo whose detailed pencil drawings create a wonderland, where sitting at a café table morphs into a dreamscape with animals, a borderland between waking and dreaming.
With a very light touch Prince in a Pastry Shop asks one of the most profound questions of our existence: is it enough to appreciate each moment of sweetness—and at what cost—or must we be active in an unforgiving world to find contentment.
BENJAMIN PALOFF's books include the poetry collections And His Orchestra (2015) and The Politics (2011), both from Carnegie Mellon, and many translations from Polish, Czech, Russian, and Yiddish, including Marek Bieńczyk's Tworki and Transparency. Twice a fellow of the NEA, he is professor of comparative literature at the University of Michigan, where he is also director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
JOANNA CONCEJO (b. 1971, Poland) is an illustrator and artist, whose most recent collaboration, The Lost Soul, written by Olga Tokarczuk, who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland. She moved to France in 1994, where she still lives and works. She is winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award (Mention / Fiction), the prize Calabria Incantata Abracalabria Altomonte (Italy), and the Grand Prix /Best Book of the Year for graphic design by the Polish Section of IBBY (for Prince in a Pastry Shop). She works mainly for children's books. In 2008 appeared his first book , then follow other books in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Poland.