Four years later, Charlie Hebdo’s tragedy is remembered with books

You might remember reading the wonderful and devastating book “Darling I am going to Charlie” written by Maryse Wolinski (Atria books) on the day her husband, the cartoonist Georges Wolinski, died at the Charlie Hebdo  offices. Another book has come out last year in France and will be published in 2020 in the US and Great Britain: “Le Lambeau” (The … Read More

Michelle Obama and Dominique de Menil, two giant Ladies

I don’t know if you have read many good books recently but I have not. And most literary critics are useless or just lazy, I don’t know? Nowadays I only trust word of mouth.  This is how I recently read Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” which I found not only riveting, but also very gracious. And “Double vision“, the extraordinary history of … Read More

Opéra Garnier revisited inch by inch

5 January 1875, marks the inaugural Gala for the Paris Opera created by Charles Garnier. Napoléon III has been deposed. The show on stage is very “pale”, all eyes are directed on King Alfonso XII of Spain, the Lord Mayor of London and the President of the French Republic, Patrice de Mac Mahon. The building was the real hero of … Read More

At Château d’Ecouen, witness the birth of Renaissance theatre

The birth of theater in the French Renaissance can only be tracked down thanks to writings and a few sketches of religious “Mysteries” played outdoors. Many representations in markets and other public places were linked to stages of Christ’s passion. These were set in different cities like Bourges in 1536, Valenciennes in 1547,  Troyes,  Chateaudun or Romans, which were very … Read More

Henri de Rothschild, a multitalented genius

I only knew him as a playwriter and as the grandfather of Philippine de Rothschild, the larger than life owner of Château Mouton Rothschild. But thanks to Nadège Forestier’s biography, “Henri de Rothschild, a humanitarian before his time”, I now know that he was primarily a doctor, a major contributor to Marie Curie’s lab, the inventor of pasteurized milk in … Read More

Poetry and literature win, with the Bleustein Blanchet Vocation Prize

In 1960, publicity genius Marcel Bleustein Blanchet created Fondation de la Vocation in order to help the young talented who needed a little push. Almost sixty years later, 1564 young people have been helped by this foundation in science, music, technology, the art and literature. It is the first prize giving ceremony of the “rentrée” and a very important one … Read More

A unique feminist book on World War 1

An exceptional exhibition has just closed at the Tate Britain and it is sadly not going anywhere else, apparently. Aftermath is the extraordinary show of World War 1 artists such as Marcel Gromaire, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Nash, Max Ernst, who fought in the war and went on to influence the art world of the 1920’s and 30’s leading to … Read More

Henri Cole, a poet from Boston who loves Paris

Henri Cole lives in Boston and teaches in Southern California, but he was born in Japan from an Armenian-French mother and an American military father and he writes poetry in Paris. He has just published a charming book, “Orphic Paris” about “his” Paris which anyone who comes and visits should read first at home, then a second time, while walking … Read More