Guy Gavriel Kay’s Featured Book

A Brightness Long Ago

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Guy Gavriel Kay’s Recommended Book

I reread all the time, I am fascinated by how rereading a book works to illuminate who we were when we read and loved (or didn’t love!) a book long ago. Will our reaction be the same? Wldly different? Slightly shifted? I like books about this, too. So Viv Groskop’s Au Revoire, Tristesse was down my street, as she rereads and discusses the French Great Books she read young, and now re-assesses, both the books and herself. Here’s the very first sentence … There is one very obvious life lesson the French want to teach us: If you want to be happy, it’s best to be French. If you want to lead the ideal kind of life, then that life is to be found in France. She’s funny, and sharp, and resistance was futile.

Au Revoir, Tristesse: Lessons in Happiness from French Literature by Viv Groskop

A lighthearted look at how to bring more humor, happiness, and joie de vivre into our lives through French literature.

Like many people the world over, Viv Groskop wishes she was a little more French. A writer, comedian, and journalist, 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 explore how the classics of French literature can infuse our lives with joie de vivre and teach us how to say goodbye to sadness. From the frothy hedonism of Colette and the wit of Cyrano de Bergerac to the intoxicating universe of Marguerite Duras and the heady passions of Les Liaisons dangereuses, this is a love letter to great French writers. 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 book lovers everywhere.

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Owl’s Nest Books