When a classicist becomes a bestselling writer

Barry Strauss is the only Classicist I know (with the late Jacqueline de Romilly) who is also a best selling writer. His 15th book, « the Death of Caesar » (Simon and Schuster) hit the top of the Amazon’s bestselling list for European history. I knew Barry at Yale, when he was already a very brilliant (and very modest) PHD student and … Read More

French women don’t get fat at la Régalade

Mireille Guiliano, former CEO of Veuve Clicquot in the United States, became worldwide famous ten years ago, with her first book « French women don’t get fat » (Knopf) where she tells how she was fat at 16 and never again, even though she eats in restaurants ten times a week.

Nazis speak for themselves

« Nazis liked neither philosophy nor politics, so it is rather pleasing that you should honor me today with the Emile Perreau-Saussine Prize for Political philosophy » stated Professor Johann Chapoutot at Sciences Pô, the Political science University of Paris where late that afternoon Kofi Annan was also giving a talk. His latest book, « La Loi du sang » … Read More

Miguel Bonnefoy a new Garcia Marquez?

The Prix Edmée de la Rochefoucauld is given every year to the author of a first novel, and I always try to attend the Prize giving ceremony at Cercle Interallié, for its president, Hélène de la Baume, is charming and the lunch time cocktail party always fun and glamorous. But this year there was a special bonus ! the 27 … Read More

An actress turned (excellent) writer

Anne Wiazemsky seems to have always been discovered and chosen by fabulous men. First the film director, Robert Bresson cast her in « Au Hasard Balthazar ». Then Jean Luc Godard, soon to be her husband, shot « La Chinoise » for her. And Pasolini asked her to play in  “Theorem”. And then followed at least seven other movies while … Read More

Studying the elite at the Sorbonne

Richelieu's tomb in the Chapel of the Sorbonne as sculpted by François Girardon

First you have to go through security at the entrance of the Sorbonne and if you don’t have a student card or a professor’s I.D., you stay on the street. Then you walk through long corridors all the way from Place de la Sorbonne to Rue St Jacques and there, on the left, you see a little wooden door that … Read More

Lally gets into St Andrews at last

A French golfer, Lally Segard, becomes one the first seven Lady members of the Royal and Ancient golf Club in St Andrews and noone notices it in France ! Typical… Well I will tell you how extraordianry she is.

Remembering Comtesse Greffulhe

Marcel Proust is very much in fashion in France. Is it the socialist government who needs to dream about the Belle Epoque or is snobism just an escape from dreary daily life? One thing is sure, the biography of Comtesse Greffulhe by Laure Hillerin (published by Flammarion) was a hit for Christmas and its career keeps on growing thanks to … Read More