My Life in France
Publication Date: October 9, 2007
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Julia Child singlehandedly created a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she 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 them across the globe – unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.
Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during WWII; afterwards she lived in Paris, studied at the Cordon Bleu, and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bartholle, 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 Julia Child a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966; subsequent public television shows were "Julia Child & Company" (1978), "Julia Child & More Company" (1980)--both of which were accompanied by cookbooks--and "Dinner at Julia's" (1983), followed by "Cooking with Master Chefs" (1993), "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs" (1995), and her collaboration with Jacques Pépin, "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" (1999). The 40th anniversary edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 was published in 2001.Alex Prud'homme is Julia's grandnephew. A freelance writer, his journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and People. He is the author of The Cell Game and the co-author (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
For generations of Americans, chef Julia Child was a fearless guide through the complexities of French cooking — on the page, and on her eight TV shows. Fresh Air revisits an interview with Child from 1989. More at NPR.org
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“A delight.” —The New York Times“What a joy!” —The Washington Post“Endlessly engaging.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “Inspiring..” —Entertainment Weekly“Delighful and ebulliently written. . . . Her joy just about jumps off the books pages.” —Christian Science Monitor “Lively, infectious. . . . Her elegant but unfussy prose pulls the reader into her stories.” —Chicago Sun-Times“Captivating. . . . Her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.” —San Francisco Chronicle