Sophie's World (Paperback)

A Novel about the History of Philosophy

By Jostein Gaarder, Paulette Moller (Translator)

Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374530716, 518pp.

Publication Date: March 20, 2007



A page-turning novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Sophie's World has fired the imagination of readers all over the world, with more than twenty million copies in print.

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning--but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

About the Author

Jostein Gaarder was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1952. He taught high-school philosophy for several years before publishing a collection of short stories in 1986 and, shortly thereafter, his first two novels, The Solitaire Mystery and Sophie's World, and several others since then. He lives in Oslo with his family.

Praise For Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy

“First, think a beginner’s guide to philosophy . . . Next, imagine a fantasy novel—something like a modern-day version of Through the Looking Glass. Meld these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international bestseller . . . [A] tour de force.” —Time "This book contains a novel mantra for those days when the world gets in your face."—Entertainment Weekly “Extraordinary…read it for yourself.”—Newsweek
“A simply wonderful, irresistible book...a cross between Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy and Alice in Wonderland.”—Daily Telegraph
Sophie’s World is sheer delight. How I wish I’d had it during my college freshman survey of philosophy!”—Madeleine L’Engle