A blend of literary history, memoir, and self-help that shows how French literature can bring humor, happiness, and romance to our lives
Like many people the world over, Viv Groskop wishes she was a little more French. A writer and comedian, Groskop studied the language obsessively starting at age 11 and spent every vacation in France, desperate to escape her Englishness and to have some French chic rub off on her.
In Au Revoir, Tristesse, Groskop mixes literary history and memoir to show how the classics of French literature can expose us to another way of living, infuse our days with joie de vivre, and teach us how to say goodbye to sadness. Groskop explores the frothy hedonism of Colette, the wit of Cyrano de Bergerac, the intoxicating universe of Marguerite Duras, and the heady passions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. With chapters on Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, and, of course, Françoise Sagan, this is a delectable read for lovers of books and all things French.
“Groskop skillfully juggles memoir, biography, philosophy, and literary criticism to create a delightful tour through some of French literature’s greats. As a guide she is top notch: witty, infectiously engaged, and always thoughtful. This book will charm both newcomers and Francophiles alike.”author of The Song of Achilles and Circe, Madeline Miller
“a lighthearted and insightful romp…to dip into cheerfully, whether to recall novels read years ago or to find an entertaining entrée into those yet unread.”Publishers Weekly
“thoughtful…a lighthearted read for all fans of French literature”Kirkus Reviews
“Ms. Groskop is a skilled raconteuse who brings people—and the page—to life. She writes with a self-deprecating appreciation of the Frenchman or -woman manqué(e) that lurks in us all. You don’t have to be a savant to enjoy this book…“Au Revoir, Tristesse” will make a witty, seductive companion.”The Wall Street Journal
"Groskop’s combination of her own memories, what the novels meant to her at different stages in her life, her description of the authors, along with her description of the novels, will have readers eagerly turning the book’s pages. They’ll also be making a list of novels they want to buy, and movies they want to see."Forbes