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Finished Julia Child's My Life in France yesterday. What fun! Her enthusiasm and energy squish out of every page and her descriptions of the food are positively drool-worthy, and Paul seems like he was a lovely man and the two of them very well-suited to each other. I also loved her descriptions of their friends and the lunches and picnics and late-night conversations and discussions. One of the funniest vignettes was about her sister, Dort-the-Wort, who comes to visit and tries valiantly to communicate in French. One day she goes to the hairdresser and asks him earnestly, Monsieur, voulez-vous couper mes chevaux avant ou apres les champignons? Clearly she was inquiring if he wanted to cut her hair before or after the shampoo, but what she actually said was, "Sir, would you like to cut my horses before or after the mushrooms?" Reminds me of Steve Martin's discussion of ordering breakfast in France where he asked for an omelette and got a shoe with cheese on it. Or my own experience in Paris years ago, trying to find the Three Ducks B&B but we didn't know the word for "duck" so asked for the Three Chickens LOL!!

My only disappointment was that the book was so short -- I had been hoping for something longer, with extensive quotes from the hundreds of Paul's letters to his brother (they were twins) and Julia's to her sister. Paul's and Julia's papers are at Radcliffe College at Harvard (part of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America); would be great fun to go for a visit and spend a few hours poring through the letters.

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