I'll Never be French No Matter What I Do
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I'll Never be French No Matter What I Do

By (author) Mark Greenside

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Tired of Provence in books, cuisine, and tablecloths? Exhausted from your armchair travels to Paris? Despairing of ever finding a place that speaks to you beyond reason? You are ripe for a journey to Brittany, where author Mark Greenside reluctantly travels, eats of the crepes, and finds a second life. When Mark Greenside -- a native New Yorker living in California, doubting (not-as-trusting-as Thomas, downwardly mobile, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic -- is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France, in Finistere, "the end of the world," his life begins to change. In a playful, headlong style, and with enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside tells how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn't speak the language or know how things are done. Against his personal inclinations and better judgments, he places his trust in the villagers he encounters -- neighbors, workers, acquaintances -- and is consistently won over and surprised as he manages and survives day-to-day trials: from opening a bank account and buying a house to removing a beehive from the chimney -- in other words, learning the cultural ropes, living with neighbors, and making new friends. "I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do)" is a beginning and a homecoming for Greenside, as his father's family emigrated from France. It is a memoir about fitting in, not standing out; being part of something larger, not being separate from it; following, not leading. It explores the joys and adventures of living a double life.

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  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 137.16 x 208.28 x 17.78mm | 181.44g
  • 02 Jun 2009
  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • The Free Press
  • New York
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1416586954
  • 9781416586951
  • 166,806

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"A light, lighthearted, occasionally very funny romp through a region of France not well represented in the travel literature. With his fresh eye and self-deprecating wit, Greenside sketches a wry, cautionary tale for all those of us who are tempted by adventures in foreign real estate." -- Michael Sanders, author of "From Here, You Can't See Paris: Seasons of a French Village and Its Restaurant"

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