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Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature

by Viv Groskop

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252822,049 (3.88)1
A blend of literary history, memoir, and self-help that shows how French literature can bring humor, happiness, and romance to our lives   Like many people the world over, Viv Groskop wishes she was a little more French. A writer and comedian, Groskop studied the language obsessively starting at age 11 and spent every vacation in France, desperate to escape her Englishness and to have some French chic rub off on her. In Au Revoir, Tristesse, Groskop mixes literary history and memoir to show how the classics of French literature can expose us to another way of living, infuse our days with joie de vivre, and teach us how to say goodbye to sadness. Groskop explores the frothy hedonism of Colette, the wit of Cyrano de Bergerac, the intoxicating universe of Marguerite Duras, and the heady passions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. With chapters on Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, and, of course, Françoise Sagan, this is a delectable read for lovers of books and all things French.… (more)
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A chapter each for 12 famous French novels from an avowed English Francophile who spent her summers on an exchange program in France on her road to fluency in the language. She picks not necessarily the most well-known, but her favorites, the ones that marked her the most.
I really enjoyed the book. I would have appreciated this sort of modern, practical summary of book and author for everything I read in high school and college (French or English). Would read more. ( )
  penelopethecruise | Aug 23, 2020 |
Good review of a few well-known French novels. ( )
1 vote juliejuliette79 | Aug 15, 2020 |
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A blend of literary history, memoir, and self-help that shows how French literature can bring humor, happiness, and romance to our lives   Like many people the world over, Viv Groskop wishes she was a little more French. A writer and comedian, Groskop studied the language obsessively starting at age 11 and spent every vacation in France, desperate to escape her Englishness and to have some French chic rub off on her. In Au Revoir, Tristesse, Groskop mixes literary history and memoir to show how the classics of French literature can expose us to another way of living, infuse our days with joie de vivre, and teach us how to say goodbye to sadness. Groskop explores the frothy hedonism of Colette, the wit of Cyrano de Bergerac, the intoxicating universe of Marguerite Duras, and the heady passions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. With chapters on Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, and, of course, Françoise Sagan, this is a delectable read for lovers of books and all things French.

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