Reader for Hire

by Raymond Jean


A beautiful homage to the art of reading – light and funny. A celebration of the union of sensuality and language.

Marie-Constance loves reading and possesses an attractive voice. So, one day she decides to put an ad in the local paper offering her services as a paid reader. Her first client, a paralysed teenager, is transformed by her reading of a Maupassant short story. Marie-Constance’s fame spreads and soon the rich, the creative and the famous clamour for her services.

The premise of the story is brilliant: a woman who loves reading aloud acquires – without realising – power over others. What’s true for her clients becomes real for you, the reader of this book. As you turn the pages, think of Marie-Constance as the personification of ‘reading’ itself. And I promise you an experience you will never forget.

Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter.

176pp, paperback with flaps, £12
ISBN 978-1-908670-22-9
Publication date: 15th June 2015

Press & Reviews

'Reader for Hire might be the perfect book.' - Joanna Walsh, author of Vertigo and Hotel

‘A beautiful love declaration to the art of reading. A book that will make you want to read more books.’ - Cosmopolitan

'A clever, funny, and humane work that champions the power of literature.' - David Mills, Sunday Times

'An excellent new translation of a novel . . . written with a lightness of touch.' - Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail

'For the sedentary reader, the solitude can all too easily tip over into loneliness, and from there to a sense that one is missing out on life. If this strikes a chord, inoculate against it with Raymond Jean's Reader for Hire.' - Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin (authors of The Novel Cure), Independent

About The Book


Raymond Jean (1925–2012) wrote more than 40 books during his lifetime – novels, short-story collections and essays. He was awarded the Prix Goncourt de la nouvelle in 1983. His novella La Lectrice (Reader for Hire) became a cinema hit starring Miou-Miou. The film won the César Award for Best Supporting Actor and was named the best feature at the 1988 Montreal World Film Festival.


Adriana Hunter has translated over 50 books from French, including works by Agnès Desarthe, Véronique Ovalde and Hervé Le Tellier. She has translated four titles for Peirene: Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi, for which she won the 2011 Scott Moncrieff Prize, Under The Tripoli Sky by Kamal Ben Hameda, Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean and Her Father’s Daughter by Marie Sizun. Adriana has been short-listed twice for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.