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Monsieur Mediocre : one American learns the high art of being everyday French

Author: John von Sothen
Publisher: [New York] : Viking, [2019]
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Americans love to love Paris. We buy books about how the French parent, why French women don't get fat, and how to be Parisian wherever you are. While our work hours increase every year, we think longingly of the six weeks of vacation the French enjoy, imagining them at the seaside in stripes with plates of fruits de mer. John von Sothen fell in love with Paris through the stories his mother told of her year spent
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Genre/Form: Autobiographies
Biographies
Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sothen, John von, author.
Monsieur Mediocre
New York : Viking, 2019
(DLC) 2019003430
Named Person: John von Sothen; John von Sothen
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John von Sothen
ISBN: 9780735224834 0735224838
OCLC Number: 1083675423
Description: xvi, 270 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
The art of the unfortunate event --
She had me at bah --
The aristocrats --
Bringing up Bibi --
Six weeks of not so great time off --
Letter from the no-go zone --
Huge in France --
Voulez-vous think tank avec moi? --
Wesh we can --
Will you be my French friend? --
Years and years and years in Normandy --
The French resistant --
There's no place like chez moi.
Responsibility: John von Sothen.

Abstract:

"Americans love to love Paris. We buy books about how the French parent, why French women don't get fat, and how to be Parisian wherever you are. While our work hours increase every year, we think longingly of the six weeks of vacation the French enjoy, imagining them at the seaside in stripes with plates of fruits de mer. John von Sothen fell in love with Paris through the stories his mother told of her year spent there as a student. After falling for and marrying the French waitress he meets in New York, von Sothen follows his mother's dream and moves to Paris. But fifteen years in, he's finally ready to admit his mother's Paris is mostly a fantasy. In this hilarious and delightful collection of essays, von Sothen walks us through real life in Paris--myth-busting our Parisian daydreams but also revealing the inimitable and too often invisible pleasures of family life abroad. Through these essays, you'll learn about what to do when you unwittingly commit yourself to two weeks of vacation with friends who ration snacks down to the gram and who mock you mercilessly for sleeping in; how to react when French men turn to you, the American, for fashion tips such as where to find a Maine trapper vest; and how to tell if you're being invited to a super-exclusive secret society of intellectuals or, alternately, a weird sex club. Relentlessly funny and full of incisive observations, Monsieur Mediocre is ultimately a love letter to France--to its absurdities, its history, its ideals--but it's a very French love letter: frank, smoky, unsentimental. It is a clear-eyed ode to a beautiful, complex, contradictory country from someone who both eagerly and grudgingly calls it home"--

Sothen fell in love with Paris through the stories his mother told of her year spent there as a student. After falling for and marrying the French waitress he meets in New York, he moved to Paris. But fifteen years in, he's finally ready to admit his mother's Paris is mostly a fantasy. Here he walks us through real life in Paris, myth-busting our Parisian daydreams but also revealing the inimitable and too often invisible pleasures of family life abroad. His book is ultimately a love letter to France-- to its absurdities, its history, its ideals-- from someone who both eagerly and grudgingly calls it home. -- adapted from jacket

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