How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom
Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance

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The French elevation of love can feel a bit melodramatic and lacking in humor. Yet by the end of this book, it is hard not to feel both breathless and dowdy.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

“Absolutely marvelous…lively and learned….Marilyn Yalom’s book is a distinguished contribution to our experience of a great literature, as well as an endearing memoir.”
—Diane Johnson, author of Lulu in Marrakech and Le Divorce

“[An] enchanting tour of French literature—from Abelard and Heloise in the 12th century to Marguerite Duras in the 20th and Philippe Sollers in the 21st.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

How the French Invented Love is an entertaining and masterful history of love à la française by acclaimed scholar Marilyn Yalom. Spanning the Middle Ages to the present, Yalom explores a love-obsessed culture through its great works of literature—from Moliere’s comic love to the tragic love of Racine, from the existential love of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre to the romanticism of George Sand and Alfred de Musset. A thoroughly engaging homage to French culture and literature interlaced with the author’s delicious personal anecdotes, How the French Invented Love is ideal for fans of Alain de Botton, Adam Gopnik, and Simon Schama.

 

About Marilyn Yalom

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Marilyn Yalom is a former professor of French and presently a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She is the author of widely-acclaimed books, such as A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, and Birth of the Chess Queen, as well as The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years of History through our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, which includes a portfolio of photos by her son Reid S. Yalom. She lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband, psychiatrist author Irvin D. Yalom.
 
Published October 23, 2012 by Harper. 421 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Travel, Romance, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for How the French Invented Love
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by PAMELA DRUCKERMAN on Oct 19 2012

The French elevation of love can feel a bit melodramatic and lacking in humor. Yet by the end of this book, it is hard not to feel both breathless and dowdy.

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