French Dive: Living More with Less in the South of France

French Dive: Living More with Less in the South of France

by Eric Freeze


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In the fall of 2014, educators Eric and Rixa Freeze moved with their young family to Old Nice, a medieval town-within-a-city on the famed Côte d'Azur. They'd bought a 700-square-foot dive, an apartment in need of renovation just a couple blocks from the Mediterranean.

They were a family with a plan: to live differently. No home in the suburbs with a two-car garage, no bedroom for every child, no 24-hour Walmart.

Carefully researched and vividly written, French Dive chronicles the Freeze family's integration into a culture where large families aren't all treated alike. What they find--spearfishing for food, renting their car to strangers, fixing and selling old furniture from the garbage depot--is that a city gives back the more you give to it.

Morally complex and unflinching in its analysis of contemporary life and the things that keep human beings apart, Freeze tackles racism, homelessness, art, reality TV, social media, and parenting with wit and humor. Along the way he and his family learn what it means to be a neighbor, a member of a community, and a global citizen, how to treat others with empathy and understanding as they try to carve out a place in this world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781725266148
Publisher: Slant Books
Publication date: 11/23/2020
Pages: 286
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Eric Freeze is an Associate Professor at Wabash College. He is the author of Dominant Traits, Hemingway on a Bike, and Invisible Men. He lives in Crawfordsville, Indiana and Nice, France with academic Rixa Freeze and their four children.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

French Dive is one of the best travel memoirs I’ve ever read. It’s as intellectually enlightening as Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon, and it has all the emotional impact of a novel. This is a moving meditation on contemporary life and a testament to the importance of exploration and discovery.”

—Michael Dahlie, author of A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living

“At the warm heart of this enchanting book are answers to one of the most fundamental questions of life: how to live well. Eric Freeze and his family moved from the US into a tiny apartment in Nice—and into new lives centered around family, food, discovery, and living boldly. As the French say: depenser moins, vivre mieux: spend less, live better.”

—Anne Giardini, author of The Sad Truth About Happiness and Advice for Italian Boys

“Eric Freeze makes for an extraordinary travel companion and French Dive is the kind of read that spirits you from one location to another but leaves you ready for your next adventure. What Freeze is capable of doing, with his keen eye and even more impressive ability to examine people and cultures, is nothing thing short of incredible. I left this book with both an uncanny feeling that I’d known Freeze my whole life, but also that I’d somehow learned more about myself.”

—Jared Yates Sexton, author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters on Your Shore: A Story of American Rage

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