Translated by Linda Coverdale
With an afterword by Françoise Lefèvre
Hugo Horiot is in love with wheels and all that cranks or turns. He is obsessed with the otherworldly language of pipes—they run, he imagines from his family home to the center of the earth. He causes endless trouble at home and hates school. He muses: "I dream asleep, I dream awake"—but he dreams so hard he shuts out the world with reveries that are not just curious but dangerous and painful too. School is a prison he must escape, his teachers oppressors, and his classmates "a band of jolly torturers." The Emperor, C'est Moi is the portrait of a boy who might happen to suffer from autism but who is also a beautiful rebel inspired to blaze a path through childhood to find an enduring sense of personal freedom.