Jean de Florette…My Father’s Glory…Marius and Fanny. These and other beloved works were all written by Marcel Pagnol, the bard of Provence. Ask a local what author best describes their part of the world and chances are they’ll name Pagnol.
A fascinating character, Marcel Pagnol was not only an author but also a great filmmaker, the first to be elected into the prestigious Académie française. And he’s my favorite French author. No one else can conjure life in the south of France the way he can.
Want to learn more? Read my article about Pagnol in Perfectly Provence!
I’m thrilled to let you know that the audio-book version of Are We French Yet? has just been published. The reader is Doug Schuetz, a talented voice actor who just happens to be my old college roommate! We’ve stayed in touch over the years, mostly holiday cards and such, and this was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect, share memories, and have fun during the recording.
Doug and I live on opposite coasts so he would record a few chapters, send them to me for review, and then make any corrections. His only stipulation when he agreed to the project was that I not “go all Martin Scorsese” and try to tell him how to do his job. As Doug put it, “You’re a terrific author but not an actor or a director—I’m the professional. Let’s each do what we’re good at.” He said it in a lighthearted manner but I got the point.
And I love the result! He made my funny stories even funnier by the way he read them. A few times while listening, I would call Val into the room and tell her, “You’ve just got to hear this!”
The audio-book is available from Amazon here and would make a great Christmas gift for the France-lover in your life. And to get things rolling, I have six copies to give away. Just let me know in the comment below that you’d like one , by next Wednesday the 11th, and I’ll pick the winners from those who enter.
The New York Review of Books called it, “The runaway best seller of nineteenth-century France, possibly the greatest best seller of all time.”
The Washington Post described it as, “Aristocrats with secrets, a prostitute with a heart of gold, criminals nicknamed the Schoolmaster and the She-Wolf, an evil lawyer, thwarted love, blackmail and conspiracy—this is a sprawling novel that packs in everything and then adds more.”
What is it? Les Mystères de Paris / The Mysteries of Paris, the book that inspired Victor Hugo to write Les Misérables. Almost as interesting as the book is the author himself, a man born to privilege (his godmother was Empress Josephine) who became one of the leading Socialists of his day.
The book is ripping good fun in either French or English. Read all about it at My French Life!
France is known for great literature. Think of all those famous authors–Hugo, Balzac, Proust, Camus, Flaubert, and more. Ok, maybe we haven’t read a lot of them but Les Mis was terrific, wasn’t it?
Out of all the books written by French authors, which one is the best? Maybe Madame Bovary? The Stranger? In Search of Lost Time? Or maybe the beloved Little Prince?
I decided to find out. You might be surprised by what I learned.
Read all about it in My French Life!
Patricia Sands is at it again! The author of the popular Love in Provence series has just published a novella, A Season of Surprises at the Villa des Violettes.
Readers are treated to a new chapter in the lives of our favorite Love in Provence characters—newlyweds Kat and Philippe, their wise neighbor Simone, Kat’s wacky friend Molly, and all the rest of the gang. Kat is opening a bed and breakfast at the Villa and preparations are frantic as the first customers are about to arrive. But then something goes terribly wrong…
Read all about it at Perfectly Provence!
One of the hottest shows in Paris in Olivier Giraud’s How to Become a Parisian in One Hour. Over half a million people have seen it…and even the Parisians love it!
If you can’t make it to Paris, Giraud has written a funny book that covers the same material. Ready to try your hand at some French reading? The French version is an easy place to start (there are lots of pictures!)
Read all about the book and the show (including a video clip!) at My French Life.
It’s summer: time for long, lazy days and maybe a book or two. Looking for something good to read? Then check out this hilarious true story of an American who buys a house in a tiny village in Brittany and begins living there part of the year.
As a part-time expat myself, I find that author Mark Greenside does an exceptional job of describing the many fish-out-of-water moments of life abroad. He also writes movingly about how his experiences in a new land have changed him. This is a book not to be missed!
Check out my review in My French Life.
Want to read a terrific book? Want to try your hand at reading in French? Have I got something for you!
The Arab of the Future is one of the most popular books to come out in France in the last few years, the story of a boy growing up between two cultures. It has been translated into more than a dozen languages so you can read it in whatever language you want. But the French is easy, really easy, because The Arab of the Future is a graphic novel.
I’m not usually a fan of graphic novels, preferring “real books,” but sometimes the format is the perfect way to tell a rich and fascinating tale. This is one such tale.
Read my review of The Arab of the Future in MyFrenchLife!
I love memoirs by people who have moved to a new country. Some are funny (A Year in Provence), some are personal and moving (Under the Tuscan Sun), and my favorites are both.
One of the best I’ve read in a long time is Mark Greenside’s I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do). It combines hilarious stories of his adventures in France with lovely observations about how life in a new country has changed him.
A few months ago I reviewed Mark’s book titled (not quite) Mastering the Art of French Living, which I loved. I loved this second book just as much. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel memoirs with a lot of humor and a lot of heart, especially those set in France.
You can read my review in My French Life!
A neighbor who feeds baguettes to the local donkeys? Another who wants you to taste his pig-snout salad? Folks who think Americans all wear cowboy hats and six-shooters?
Yes, life in Provence is different than California. I’m thrilled that a chapter of my new book Are We French Yet? has been featured in France Today. It tells these stories and more. You can read all about it here!