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My Life in France Hardcover – 26 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publications (26 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400043468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043460
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Child's exuberant, affectionate and boundlessly charming account ... chronicles, in mouth-watering detail, the meals and the food markets that sparked her interest in French cooking, and her growing appreciation of all things French. --New York Times

Luscious … The large-as-life presence of Julia Child looms on every page. --Washington Times

Whether you have [seen Julie & Julia] or not, you must read this charming, eccentric memoir from Julia Child, a towering figure in the world of cookery. --Independent on Sunday --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She worked for the OSS during World War II; afterwards she lived in Paris, studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' (1961). From 1963 to 1973 she presented 'The French Chef' on American television, and several other television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004. Alex Prud'homme, Paul Child's grandnephew, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in 'The New York Times', 'The New Yorker', 'Vanity Fair' and 'Time'. He is the author of 'The Cell Game' and the co-author of 'Forewarned'. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
My Life in France is the most entertaining memoir I've read in 2006! It's a winner.

I first met Julia Child under unusual circumstances. My consulting firm was located down the street from where she got her hair done. Every Friday night, she would be seen peering into the windows to look at our art collection. After a few weeks of this, I walked outside and invited her in to tour the work up close. She was immediately studying everything from about three inches away. She thanked me politely and charged out the door. There was no hint of the slightly tipsy person filled with laughter who hosted The French Chef. Ah . . . I felt like I had met the real woman beneath the persona.

From that meeting, I gathered that she was a woman moved more than most by curiosity. I found myself also being curious about how she learned enough about French cooking to help co-author that masterwork, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Most French people in those days would not choose working with an American as a way to produce a work about France. That would be like putting salty Virginia ham into Quiche Lorraine.

My Life in France nicely filled in all the blanks for me. The book was lovingly finished by her grand-nephew, Paul Prud'homme, after Julia's death and is filled with lovely photographs produced by Julia's husband, Paul Child.

Here's the short version of the book. Julia had been in Asia for World War II as part of the OSS and met her husband there. He was ten years older than she was and well traveled . . . especially in France. After World War II, he joined the USIS (predecessor to the USIA) which played a friendly sort of propaganda function promoting American values and ways of doing things.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Julia Child and the places you will go. Who knew, that this tall woman with the high voice that I saw on television was once filled with lust? This is the story of Julia and her husband Paul, how they met,when they met and their life ever after. What a fascinating woman. I know that if met her today, she would smile and greet me cheerily and off we would go into the world of food and cooking.

Julia and Paul met while they were in the OSS in Ceylon in 1946. They courted and married and moved to Paris where Paul was the Information Officer for the American Embassy. Their first meal was in Rouen, France and Julia had oysters, sole meunière, salad, cheese and coffee. This was the beginning of a love affair with food, France and Paul. Julia just adored France and she began exploring and cooking in her small Parisian kitchen. Eventually her cooking improved and she enrolled in the École du Cordon Bleu. This was an experience that changed her life. Food and France and her love for the people became her theme.

Julia loved to cook and to teach and she and a few friends started a cooking school. This led to writing the first book that fully explained the art of French Cooking. It took them a decade to write and find a publisher who appreciated their theme and writing, but it took off and soon they were in the third and then fourth printing. While on a book tour Julia and friends gave a lesson cooking. Soon, the local Cambridge PBS show asked her to film 3 shows and then an entire series. She was such a hit that the series went on and on and on.

In the meantime, Julia and Paul built a home in Provence near friends and spent many wonderful years. Paul became ill and died at the age of 92.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after watching the excellent film Julie and Julia and being delighted and intrigued by Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child. I wanted to know how realistic her picture of Julia was. I am delighted to say, from this wonderful memoir written by Julia and her nephew Alex Prudhomme at the end of her long and eventful life, that it was very true to life, or her life as it is portrayed here anyway. Child was deeply, wonderfully eccentric, larger than life and absolutely passionate about everything she did, not least her cooking. Married to a diplomat she travelled the world with him and ended up falling in love with post war Paris and its wonderful cuisine. The first half of the book recounts her years in Paris and Marseille and is told with love, vibrancy, colour and passion. The second half tells of her struggle to get her cookery bookery as she calls it published, and the growth of her television career, and finally her last years in France in Provence.

Funny, eccentric, delightful and a joy to read. I was sad when it was finished.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By operationaljenn on 8 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down. I have personally never owned any Julia Child cookbooks but had purchased the book as I knew she had gone to Le Cordon Bleu and I wanted to know how she had evolved into such a culinary powerhouse. What struck me most about the book was the matter of fact language, it wasn't romanticized at all, but showed how she fell into cooking in her middle age and how that evolved into something so much bigger. It was inspirational for me, as it shows that one doesn't need to have picked up cooking very early on (although this is normally better), but is something that can be learned and developed well into your later years with much dedication and pratice =)

Read it!
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