Isabelle Huppert

France’s most decorated actress, nominated for no fewer than 16 César Awards, Isabelle Huppert has made over 100 films in her 45-year career, including The Piano Teacher, 8 Women, and most recently, Elle, for which she is nominated for Best Actress a this year’s Academy Awards. “Since I’m being sent to a deserted island,” says Isabelle Huppert, “I think I would bring books that I have not read yet and that I cannot wait to discover. At the same time I would not want to leave behind books I’ve loved. What a torture! Okay… here is a list of the books I would bring with me. I would not have made the same two weeks ago and I won’t be making the same in a month!”

Below are Isabelle Huppert’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.


The Grass is Singing × 1

Doris Lessing
I always read this book again just to experience the delight of my first reading. I fell madly in love with everything in that book, the two main characters, Mary and Moses, and Africa not only described but conveyed through the writing. A true writer makes a continent come to life. I met Doris Lessing once in London while I was performing, in English, a Friedrich Schiller play.
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The Pillow Book × 1

Sei Shonagon
All of Japan is in this book. A true marvel. Set at the Emperor’s court during the 10th century, a woman takes notes and becomes our contemporary. I could have performed that woman. I feel very close to Mizoguchi and Ozu’s actresses.
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Demons × 1

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Maybe the greatest novel ever written, but I haven’t read them all! It’s all of humankind head-on by Dostoevsky. A mix of sadism and humor. In Poland I shot a movie by Andrzej Wajda based on this great book.
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Snopes: The Hamlet, the Town, the Mansion × 1

William Faulkner
Regarding books I have not yet read: The “Snopes” trilogy. I know Faulkner created some of the most beautiful female characters. I can’t wait to discover Linda Snopes!
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Autobiography × 1

John Cowper Powys
Friends of mine tell me it’s an essential book. I’m taking it with me to the island! I know it takes place in Venice among other places.

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The Flowers of Evil × 1

Charles Baudelaire
The poet. He is almost the inventor of our current sensibility. Never naive, sometimes evil, always brilliant. I am lucky to be able to read him in French.
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Conversations with Wilder × 1

Cameron Crowe
I bet there aren’t any movie theaters on the desert island, so I will bring books that remind me of cinema. I will try to secretly fill a whole luggage. Some interviews collections: Hitchcock-Truffaut, Orson Welles, Ava Gardner…Officially here is one, with the sublime Billy Wilder.

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Nature: Simple, Healthy, and Good × 1

Alain Ducasse
Like movie theaters, are there going to be any restaurants on this island? Certainly not, so I want to read some recipes at least. Tribute to Alain Duscasse. If I had the space I would also bring books by Jamie Oliver, Ferran Adrià, Bocuse…
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The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh × 1

Vincent Van Gogh
Van Gogh’s letters are a worldwide literature masterpiece. We cry at the end…
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Hamlet × 1

William Shakespeare
Yes! Shakespeare! Always! The greatest! All Shakespeare! Of course!
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