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My Life in France (Movie Tie-In Edition) Mass Market Paperback – June 23, 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Mti edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307475018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307475015
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (483 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description

Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.

Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.

Julie & Julia is now a major motion picture (releasing in August 2009) starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child. It is partially based on her memoir, My Life in France. Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see larger images.



--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Famed chef Child, who died in 2004, recounts her life in France, beginning with her early days at the Cordon Bleu after WWII. Greenberg, an actress for radio and commercials, does a fine job capturing Child's joie de vivre and unmatched skill as a culinary animateur. We hear Child's delight and excitement when she discovers her calling as a writer and hands-on teacher of haute cuisine; her exasperation as yet another publishing house rejects her ever-growing monster of a manuscript; and her joy at its publication and acclaimed reception after more than a decade of work. Child's opinionated exuberance translates remarkably well to audio, from her initial Brahmin-like dismissal of the new medium of television (why would Americans want to waste a perfectly good evening staring into a box, she wondered?) and frustration at her diplomat husband being investigated in the McCarthy-driven 1950s to her ecstasy about roast chicken and mulish insistence on the one correct method to make French bread at home. The seamless abridgment has no jarring gaps or abrupt transitions to mar the listener's enjoyment. Potential listeners should beware, however: this is not a book to hear on an empty stomach. Bon appétit!
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is pleasant and easy to read and the story it tells is very interesting.
JW
Together they shared a life and a love, but it was more, they shared a passion for travel and the tastes of other cultures.
Joanne Jerrell
The book allows you to really get to know her, as much as one can from reading.
Hobey745

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

471 of 487 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Most Americans know of Julia Child via the parodies of her cooking show --- a frowsy, big-boned matron with a trill in her voice, hacking up a chicken with more zest than is called for, most likely because she's been chugging the cooking sherry. Well, that was, on occasion, a fair take on Julia Child, the jolly chef who taught her fellow citizens the joy of French cooking on public television.

But Julia Child was much more than a 6'2", 158-pound precursor of Martha Stewart. She was a revolutionary. Not intentionally. She just had the great good fortune to find herself living in Paris with no job and nothing more compelling than a tentative interest in cooking. She signed up for classes at Cordon Bleu, got hooked, and soon found herself, with two friends, working on a book we now take for granted but was then unimagined --- an authoritative guide to French cooking for Americans. Published 40 years ago, 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One' has never gone out of print. It never will. It is the gold standard.

Julia Child died in 2004. Of her 11 books, none was a memoir. But she kept scribbles and letters, and at the end of her life, she began to shape this book with her grandnephew. Like almost everything she touched, 'My Life in France' is a triumph --- insightful, poetic, deadly accurate about people, and, above all, tasty. To read it is to breathe French air.

Nothing in her early life would have predicted that Julia Child would become formidable in any way. Her father was a conservative Southern California businessman; her mother was "warm and social." After college came World War II and government work in Ceylon. There she met Paul Child, an artist who designed 'war rooms' for the generals.
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183 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Jerrell on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With every word I sensed I was there. I could smell the air, feel the cold and want a blanket. I lusted to be able to taste the foods she talked about. I laughed when she described her first attempts at food preparation. I loved that she was pragmatic and yet extravagant about cooking utinsels. Her husband was very encouraging of her endeavors. Together they shared a life and a love, but it was more, they shared a passion for travel and the tastes of other cultures. My mouth salivated as she toured the markets. Her French was horrible by her own admission but her genuine interest in the culture won out with shop owners. It is a delicious read.
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218 of 233 people found the following review helpful By H. Labalme on April 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This, hands down, is one of the best reads of the year. We took it with us on vacation last month & my wife and I competed over reading rights whenever the kids were otherwise occupied. It's beautifully told and as compelling as a great mystery that you know has a happy ending. It will remind you of your honeymoon in France (even if you went somewhere else) and inspire you to go again. And when you finish, you'll want to find a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and keep going....
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By JL on April 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a young person growing up in the Boston area, I watched Julia Child on WGBH. I will never forget her Salade Nicoise show where the lettuce ended up on the floor instead of the colander. This is why we loved Julia Child - she was real and fun and didn't take things too seriously. This comes through in My Life In France although sometimes it's a little too engrossed in the mundane details. It's an excellent read in her inimitable voice of her discovery and love of food and the trials and tribulations of writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her curiousity, commitment to detail, perservence, and natural talent for communicating made Master the Art of French Cooking rock the food world when no one thought such a cookbook would sell. I loved reading about Julia's triumph.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One of Julia Child's most compelling attributes was her ability to share her knowledge without ever being intimidating. She gave you the sense that she was as accessible and friendly as your neighbor next door, although infinitely more interesting.

Of course, that "neighbor" only talked about food and recipes, and you didn't get to know her very well. This book shows how charming -- and human -- Julia Child really was (petty irritations and all). Mostly, it's like having Julia over to your house for a wonderful dinner party, in which she tells wonderful stories about her time in France. Obviously, food is a large part of that, but there are entertaining anecdotes about everything from being adopted by a cat to their worries about Paul's career to their move to Marseilles. Because the family kept all of Paul and Julia's letters home, the detail is as fresh and fun as when it first happened.

The book is entertaining and fun, with the added inspiration of watching a woman grow from "I could barely cook" to the legend we all admired. Recommended.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In her memoir, we discover that Julia Child was not born with a wooden spoon in her hand; her early cooking experiences were sometimes less than delectable. Her adventures, culinary and otherwise, are chronicled in amazing detail and much charm, written with Alex Prud'homme, Paul Child's grandnephew.

The book opens with an introductory first sentence from Julia that speaks for itself:

"This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life: my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating."

The story begins as Paul and Julia move to Paris after two years in Washington, D.C. Thirty-six-year-old Julia has mixed feelings about the move. She fears that the quiet, stylish, mannerly, and tiny French would be aghast at a six-foot-two-inch "rather loud and unserious Californian." However, almost instantly Julia is enamored of France and its people. She delights in her first French meal, sheepishly telling her husband she doesn't know what a shallot is. The description of that first meal, and the many following, is as loving as if she were describing her firstborn.

Julia begins to cook a bit, helped by French friends who show her the best places to shop and introduce her to new foods such as snails and truffles. As her food consciousness rises, her ability to speak French also improves. Her next step is to sign up for a year-long course at the famed cooking school, Cordon Bleu, where she discovers a true passion for French cooking (she calls it her "personal calling"). She also realizes she has much to learn --- she can't even scramble eggs properly. Indeed, even as she grows more knowledgeable, she continues making cooking errors, resulting in bizarre dishes.
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