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My Life in France Paperback – October 9, 2007
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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
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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Top customer reviews
Julia and Paul met while they were in the OSS in Ceylon in 1946. They courted and married and moved to Paris where Paul was the Information Officer for the American Embassy. Their first meal was in Rouen, France and Julia had oysters, sole meunière, salad, cheese and coffee. This was the beginning of a love affair with food, France and Paul. Julia just adored France and she began exploring and cooking in her small Parisian kitchen. Eventually her cooking improved and she enrolled in the École du Cordon Bleu. This was an experience that changed her life. Food and France and her love for the people became her theme.
Julia loved to cook and to teach and she and a few friends started a cooking school. This led to writing the first book that fully explained the art of French Cooking. It took them a decade to write and find a publisher who appreciated their theme and writing, but it took off and soon they were in the third and then fourth printing. While on a book tour Julia and friends gave a lesson cooking. Soon, the local Cambridge PBS show asked her to film 3 shows and then an entire series. She was such a hit that the series went on and on and on.
In the meantime, Julia and Paul built a home in Provence near friends and spent many wonderful years. Paul became ill and died at the age of 92. Julia and her nephew, Alex Prud'homme, started writing this book and at the age of 92, Julia Child died after suffering a series of strokes.
This is an admirable book and a wonderful read. It is a not to be put down book and if you love good food and France, you too, will love this book. And thinking back on it now," she concludes, "reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite -- toujours bon appétit!"
Highly Highly Recommended. prisrob 07-13-09
Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (1) (Fortieth - 40th - Anniversary Edition) (Vol 1)
The Way to Cook
Julia focuses the narrative on the decades when she and husband Paul first lived as diplomats in Paris, beginning in the late 1940s, later moving to other cities, and then purchasing a second home in the French countryside once they had returned to America as their base. She makes the most distant years feel present and vibrant. Her cherished husband, Paul, is revealed as a remarkable man, an artist who had spent his youth with the Lost Generation in the Paris of the 1920s. It is his job as a cultural envoy with the United States government that takes them abroad, putting Julia in the right place at the right time to become who and what she became. As much as her narrative pays tribute to her charmed marriage and chronicles her path to writing the cookbooks and becoming a television phenomenon, it pays extraordinary witness to the post-World War II/Cold War American-European relations. When the Childs first arrived in Paris, there were a few lingering reminders of the artistic Lost Generation, but largely the expatriot community was comprised of embassy staff and diplomats. By the time they return to the US, the American military presence dominated. Joe McCarthy's long arm had tainted the good life, as had US government squabbling about how Europe, France in particular, was handling Communism.
But Julia, handed lemons, always made far more than mere lemonade. Next came the cookbook (which offers a rare look at the innards of the publishing industry in the early 1960s) and then along came PBS. If we thought we knew it all, it seems like an entirely fresh story in her own words. The last chapters addressing Paul's declining health, the aging and loss of friends and the sale of their home in France are poignant after all the romping in the earlier years, but Julia presents it without sentimentality and a nod to the fact that this was all a natural progression of that great thing called life.