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My Life in France Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 4, 2006
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the way she described her adventure into cooking. She was my idol in the 60's and I watched her show often.Published 8 days ago by Sylvia G. Cullivan
This book gives you an insight into the wonderful lady Julia was and how she started the trend for foodie shows and gave us a lovely way to be a lady who cooks and enjoys the... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Diva
This memoir was a wonderful view into the world of a very amazing woman. I read it before, during and after a visit to paris and it made my trip all the better. Serious fan.Published 9 days ago by Richelle Thomson
My hubby bought this for me so I am giving the review..Jean McMorris
I LOVED the book. I am not that much into cooking but I like most French things & I like Julia... Read more
A lot of information on French cooking and Julia's life. Interesting and entertaining!Published 19 days ago by Linda H. Williamson
I love cooking and have read "Julie and Julia" as well as have the cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." So, when I saw this book I had to read it. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Cathy
This is good biographical writing and I enjoyed it very much. As a devotee of Cooks Illustrated, it is fun to explore the era prior to their existence and to think that Julia Child... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Christine M. McCann
Loved it! Read Julie and Julia and wanted more. If you like Julia Child's I would highly recommend this read.Published 27 days ago by Jennifer Carlson