French Affair, A: The Paris Beat 1965-1998

French Affair, A: The Paris Beat 1965-1998

by Mary Blume, Ronald Searle
     
 

Mary Blume brings her insight, humor, and unique perspective to bear on the French in this collection of thirty-three years of International Herald Tribune columns. A trusted insider in an exclusive world, Blume is also the quintessential American in Paris. Francophiles will love her intimate conversations with French icons such as Fran�ois Truffaut and her

Overview

Mary Blume brings her insight, humor, and unique perspective to bear on the French in this collection of thirty-three years of International Herald Tribune columns. A trusted insider in an exclusive world, Blume is also the quintessential American in Paris. Francophiles will love her intimate conversations with French icons such as Fran�ois Truffaut and her tribute to Simone Signoret. In another essay, Blume takes us back to the humble beginnings of the Citroen 2 CV, which began as a motorized wagon and became a beloved symbol to the French, despite its ungainly practicality. From "The Friends of Mona Lisa" to "The Fine Art of Window Shopping," this collection of sixty-one pieces, with illustrations by Ronald Searle, is a delightful celebration of French ways and their meaning.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Blume (C te d'Azur: Inventing the French Riviera) has lived in France for over three decades. Here is a collection of 61 of her International Herald Tribune columns, which includes commentary on French social and cultural life and profiles of writers and film directors. She describes, among other things, a museum built in honor of the bearded lady of Thaon, Clementine Delait; a street still waiting to be named; and an uprising led by the regulars of a restaurant who do not want things to change under the new management--all of which read like absurdist comedy. Illustrations by Ronald Searle enhance the irreverent and perceptive text. These essays give us an insider's view of things quintessentially French, but a collection of columns, by nature, tends to be dated. Not an essential purchase.--Ravi Shenoy, Hinsdale P.L., IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Wall Street Journal
This first collection of International Herald Tribune pieces by the Paris-based American cultural reporter Mary Blume is long overdue. For almost 35 years, her writing has bucked up British and Continental types and Americans abroad. But the general tone of A French Affair isn't retrospective or nostalgic: Even the oldest essays are fresh as paint, as are the fizzy illustrations by Ronald Searle.
Eve Claxton
When I saw Jean-Luc Goddard's Breathless for the first time, it became my life's ambition to sell the International Herald Tribune on the Champs Éllysees, the way Jean Seberg's character had in that movie. Now that I've read A French Affair, the collected columns of the Tribune's Mary Blume, I have a new ambition—to write for the newspaper whose offices are off the Champs Éllysees.

Time Out New York

Kirkus Reviews
A collection of essays on life in France, by an American who's lived there since 1965. Everyone who's ever been there, as well as some who haven't, has an opinion to offer about France. If one goes by the number of books published about France in the United States, Americans, in particular, seem fascinated with the French way of life. Perhaps it's the sophistication of the French, their seemingly effortless sense of style. Maybe it's the food, or the wine, or the language, or the art. Or maybe, as Mary Blume so aptly demonstrates in the title of her book, a visit to France is like a love affair, remembered accordingly—with regret, with affection, with passion, frustration, or disgust. The essays in this collection were written over the course of Blume's thirty years as a columnist at the International Herald Tribune, and offer a welcome perspective—that of an American who, while intimately familiar with France (and in particular with Paris), remains enough of an outsider to comment clearly and honestly on what she sees. The book is assembled in three sections. It opens with "Paris France," which includes diverse commentary on the people, places, and customs of the city; continues with "Rites and Rules," which illustrates some of the country's idiosyncrasies; then concludes with "Words and Images," in which the author expands her geographical area of reference in interviews with some of Europe's most celebrated artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers. Blume is a gifted journalist who sits back and lets her subjects describe themselves; in this way she evokes some marvelous responses from, for instance, Marguerite Duras, who says, in inimitably French fashion: "Ihave a certain idea of myself. One can call it pretentious, I don't care. It's what I think." Ronald Searle's whimsical drawings, interspersed throughout, are a perfect complement to Blume's observations. Francophile seeks affair, for short or long-term? This book meets all requirements.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452282032
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author


Mary Blume is a columnist at the International Herald Tribune and author of Côte d'Azur: Inventing the French Riviera. Born, raised, and educated in New York City, she lives in Paris, France.

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