- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Paris Writers Press; New edition (May 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984004335
- ISBN-13: 978-0984004331
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,035,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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French War Brides: Mademoiselle & The American Soldier Paperback – May 7, 2017
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The book is a compilation of personal life stories, communicated to the author, by the young French women who immigrated to the US as new brides of American soldiers after WWI and WWII. These stories bring to life each woman's experience and survival in France during an overwhelming and brutal period of time in world history. Once these young women arrived in America, situations of course were mixed. Since for most, courtship was minimal, some found they had made a poor choice and returned to France, while others thrived with happy marriages positive experiences and fulfilling lives. Each story is different and intriguing.
Kaiser’s interest in the subject began as a teenager in Paris during the 1960s. Living with her parents, this curious Californian became friends with the garrulous concierge of their building who told her about her relationship with an American soldier. The couple had a child but they never married. Later,
still thinking about it, she wrote a story based on the life of her old concierge. After getting her PhD at the Denis Diderot University in Paris she wrote and published the first two books.
In the 1990s she decided to dig deeper into her theme of French women and American soldiers in developing Mademoiselle & THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, using real life stories from WW I and WW 2. At Columbia University she studied new techniques of how to conduct “oral history” interviews. Like other oral historians, she felt that she had a mission to record history from “the bottom up” in order
to capture the truth and preserve these rich testimonies for future generations. There are fifteen chapters with French women talking in depth about their experiences and Hillary, with recorder in hand, asking questions that reveal the complexity of their relationships. Jump in and read “Jacqueline, The Resistant.” You will be immediately hooked, unable to put this fascinating book down.
From David Burke, Writers in Paris, Literary Life in the City of Light.
but they persevered and got on with life. Kaiser does a superb job of recounting their stories.
I grew up hearing my father’s stories of his time in France during World War II, so was interested to hear these women’s very personal stories and perceptions reflecting a different perspective on that time in history.
Diane Covington-Carter, author of Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert (2014) and Eight Months in Provence, A Junior Year Abroad, 30 Years Late (2016)