Instructions for Visitors: Life and Love in a French Town

Overview

In this funny, forthright, and charming memoir, Helen Stevenson chronicles her experiences as a young British expatriate living in the countryside of France. With emotional depth and lyrical sensitivity, Stevenson introduces readers to the myriad residents of the quaint hamlet known only as "le village." There's Stefan, the Maoist tennis buff, who has his own unique way of showing empathy for the masses; Gigi, the chic Parisian who uses her boutique to dress her ex-lovers' girlfriends; and Luc, the cowboy painter...
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Overview

In this funny, forthright, and charming memoir, Helen Stevenson chronicles her experiences as a young British expatriate living in the countryside of France. With emotional depth and lyrical sensitivity, Stevenson introduces readers to the myriad residents of the quaint hamlet known only as "le village." There's Stefan, the Maoist tennis buff, who has his own unique way of showing empathy for the masses; Gigi, the chic Parisian who uses her boutique to dress her ex-lovers' girlfriends; and Luc, the cowboy painter and part-time dentist, who, overcoming his aversion to blondes, becomes enamored of the Englishwoman who has been warmly embraced by the rural community. But her troubled love affair with this local lothario comes to represent the poignant truth: she is still, somehow, an outsider. Luc reminds her: "Le village, c'est moi," and she can never say the same.

Evoking the languid, sensual essence of Mediterranean France, Instructions for Visitors is a very personal revelation of the wonders and the difficulties of relocating one's home -- and one's heart.
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Editorial Reviews

Alida Becker
Witty rather than rollicking, full of understated descriptions that capture provocative depths as well as attractive surfaces, her stories about her life with an irresistibly impossible man manage to be both graceful and kaleidoscopic. Throughout her book, opposites attract, then repel, with just the slightest shift in perspective, and chief among these are Stevenson and her lover, Luc. — The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743456890
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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