The Elegance of the Hedgehog (French: L'élégance du hérisson) is a novel by the French novelist and professor of philosophy Muriel Barbery. The book follows events in the life of a concierge, Renée Michel, whose deliberately concealed intelligence is uncovered by an unstable but intellectually precocious girl named Paloma Josse. Paloma is the daughter of an upper-class family living in the upscale Parisian apartment building where Renée works. The story revolves mainly around the characters of Renée Michel and Paloma Josse, residents of an upper-middle class Left Bank apartment building at number 7 Rue de Grenelle, one of the most elegant streets in Paris. Divided into eight luxury apartments, all occupied by mostly bourgeois families, the building has a courtyard and private garden.