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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Translated from the Polish by Benjamin Paloff

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In a beautifully illustrated story for adults that is playful, philosophical, and with a wink of naughtiness, two characters—the Not-So-Little-Prince and Prickly Pear—consider the nature of happiness while eating confections in a bakery.

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.


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