A Single Rose

Original title: Une Rose seule

Author: Barbery, Muriel

Publication Date:

August 2020



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Italy (E/O)
English (USA) (Europa Editions)
English (Aus & NZ) (Text)
English (UK & BC excl Can) (Gallic Books)
Spanish (World) (Seix Barral/Planeta)
Germany (Ullstein, at auction)
Catalan (Edicion62)
Turkey (Kırmızı Kedi Yayınevi)
Taiwan (Business Weekly Publications)
Czech Republic (Host)
Russia (Azbooka-Atticus)
Israel (Keter)
Slovakia (Albatros Media)
Brazil (Companhia Das Letras)
Serbia (Carobna knjiga)
China (Sina Books)
Slovenia ( Mladinska knjiga)
Japan (Hayakawa)
Greece (Enalios & Oceanos)
Bulgaria (Ciela )
Hungary (Geopen)
Romania (Nemira)
Netherlands (Uitgeverij Oevers)


Literary Fiction

A Single Rose

Original title: Une Rose seule

Author: Barbery, Muriel


A moving and successful novel. A floral, delicate, airy and inspired book.— L’OBS

The story of a woman, Rose, a botanist who visited Kyoto in Japan to inherit a Japanese father she never knew. In search of origins redoubled with botanical metaphors, or the novel of a wounded Rose who will lose her thorns. — LE MAG DE L’ÉTÉ (FRANCE INTER)

Throughout her wanderings in Kyoto and her unusual human encounters, orchestrated by her dead father, she explores an inner self that illuminates her darkness and leads her to overcome her melancholy. — L’ORIENT LITTÉRAIRE

With Une rose seule, she signs a sophisticated text without being ethereal putting together Rose and the memories left by her father.— OUEST FRANCE

Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a solicitor asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of the will of her father, whom she never really knew. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan where Paul, her father’s assistant, is waiting to greet her. She initially remains on her guard in the house of her art dealer father. Finding herself in a space so intimately associated with him accentuates her longstanding sense of abandonment. Paul takes her to Zen gardens and gradually the stones and trees begin to soothe her, as do the walks and the meals. As flowers continue to arrive at the house, Rose starts to accept the Japanese part of her identity and meets acquaintances of her father, including an alcoholic potter and poet, an old lady friend, a housekeeper and a chauffeur. In the lead-up to the reading of the will, Paul guides Rose along a strange itinerary set out by the deceased through which he opens himself up emotionally to his daughter.

Marketing Information

  • Over 80,000 copies sold
  • Longlisted for the Prix Jean Giono
  • English translation available
  • Nominated for Shoot the Book 2021