I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany

by Mark Greenside
3.4 12

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Overview

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany by Mark Greenside

Tired of Provence in books, cuisine, and tablecloths? Exhausted from your armchair travels to Paris? Despairing of ever finding a place that speaks to you beyond reason? You are ripe for a journey to Brittany, where author Mark Greenside reluctantly travels, eats of the crêpes, and finds a second life.

When Mark Greenside -- a native New Yorker living in California, doubting (not-as-trusting-as Thomas, downwardly mobile, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic -- is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France, in Finistère, "the end of the world," his life begins to change.

In a playful, headlong style, and with enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside tells how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn't speak the language or know how things are done. Against his personal inclinations and better judgments, he places his trust in the villagers he encounters -- neighbors, workers, acquaintances -- and is consistently won over and surprised as he manages and survives day-to-day trials: from opening a bank account and buying a house to removing a beehive from the chimney -- in other words, learning the cultural ropes, living with neighbors, and making new friends.

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do) is a beginning and a homecoming for Greenside, as his father's family emigrated from France. It is a memoir about fitting in, not standing out; being part of something larger, not being separate from it; following, not leading. It explores the joys and adventures of living a double life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416587132
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 11/04/2008
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 388,634
File size: 700 KB

About the Author

Mark Greenside holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protestor, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. His stories have appeared in The Sun, The Literary Review, Cimarron Review, The Nebraska Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The New Laurel Review, Crosscurrents, Five Fingers Review, and The Long Story, as well as other journals and magazines, and he is the author of the short story collection, I Saw a Man Hit His Wife.

He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

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I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh out loud. When I wasn't laughing, I was falling in love with Brittany, France, and by the end of the book, I knew I had to see this place for myself. My fiance and I added Brittany to our itinerary for next month's trip to Europe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As with all books purchased as gifts for Xmas, I read this one before putting it under the tree. This book was for my husband whose mother grew up in France. He spent part of a year in French schools as a boy when she was on sabbitical and he enjoyed how well Mark captured life in France and several times was laughing out loud. I enjoyed reading it and wasn't surprised when I noticed that Mark has also written for Sun Magazine.
gioziggy More than 1 year ago
Love it! Made me want to go there. The book reads like a novel and keeps you wanting more. A pleasant surprise!
OurBookAddiction More than 1 year ago
I discovered this book when it popped up as a recommendation for me since I’ve read some books by Peter Mayle. This is one for those who enjoy reading about people who actually act upon their dream and live in other countries. The author never knew this was his dream until he actually visited one summer with a girlfriend and the idea to visit had been hers. He falls out of love with her and in love with France. Mark Greenside writing is laugh out loud funny, no doubt about that. His writing style is visually descriptive and he hooked me in the first few pages. I found him likeable and so witty…completely able to poke fun of himself. I’d love to have dinner with him once. I wonder how his French is coming along now after all this time? As for the book…c’est magnifique!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good book
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