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My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Julia's story of her transformative years in France in her own words is "captivating ... her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook
Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself.

But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching. Julia’s unforgettable story—struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took the Childs across the globe—unfolds with the spirit so key to Julia’s success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of America’s most endearing personalities.

Features & details

  • julia child, french school,
  • true life story, strong female personality
  • inspiration
  • Love for life, love for food
  • humor, determination, discovery of one's self, true calling

About the authors 

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She was graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After they married they lived in Paris, where she 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). In 1963, Boston's WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made her a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004.

As a journalist Alex Prud’homme has covered subjects ranging from from French cuisine to Monster Trucks, biotech, terrorism, energy, water, art, and business for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Talk, People, and Time.

As an author, he has written seven books, most notably as co-author of Julia Child’s 2006 memoir, My Life in France, a #1 NYT best-seller which inspired half the film “Julie & Julia,” and won the Literary Food Writing Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

Prud'homme's 2011 book, The Ripple Effect: the Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century, was published by Scribner, and inspired Participant Media’s 2012 documentary film “Last Call at the Oasis.”

In 2012, Prud'homme wrote Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, for Oxford University Press.

In 2016, Knopf published The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act, Prud'homme's dramatic account of how Julia left “The French Chef” and classical French cuisine to re-Americanize herself as "Julia Child," reached the peak of her success and suffered her darkest moments, while finding her true voice in the 1970s.

In 2017, Thames & Hudson published Our Lives in France: the Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child, a book of Paul Child’s evocative black-and-white images of Paris and Marseille in 1948-54. It is a visual companion to My Life in France, told from Paul’s perspective. Katie Pratt edited the images, while Prud’homme wrote the text.

Prud’homme’s latest project is a history of food at the White House, to be published by Knopf. It examines key meals that helped shape America, and the central (if overlooked) role food has played in the nation's history, from George Washington and his slave-chef Hercules to the omnivorous Obamas and the fast-food friendly Trumps.

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