How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance (Paperback)
"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 a la francaise 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.
“By the end of this book, it is hard not to feel both breathless and dowdy. Am I living sufficiently by my passions? Shouldn’t my husband be making more declarations? Perhaps the French are on to something.”
-Pamela Druckerman, Wall Street Journal
“This superbly realized and wonderfully engaging work of analytical cultural history creates a class by itself.”
“How the French Invented Love is absolutely marvelous, so 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
“Seductive and fascinating. Marilyn Yalom is the perfect companion for this delightfully candid tour de l’amour.”
-Diane Ackerman, author of One Hundred Names for Love
“The author employs an enjoyably downright style, blending in her own experiences in France over the course of 60 years as well as the personal stories of French friends. . . . Her first-person confidences give this an engagingly informal tone.”
“Marilyn Yalom is a charming guide on an exploration of desire, romance, sex and passion à la française. Like a detective on a steamy case, Yalom digs through literature and life, uncovering the mysteries of l’amour. How the French Invented Love will surely seduce you.”
-Ellen Sussman, author of French Lessons
“Marilyn Yalom reclaims her enchantment with love stories from France. She explores the mysteries and complexities of love as they have been bequeathed by the French from centuries of their literature....She goes beyond the recognizable clichés to offer a comprehensive study, a rich psychological and cultural survey.”
-Pierre Saint-Amand, Brown University; author of The Pursuit of Laziness: An Idle Interpretation of the Enlightenment
“Marilyn Yalom combines a witty and conversational style with impressive erudition….[She] is no misty-eyed idealist when it comes to love, or to the French, but her personal involvement in the story is part of the charm of this highly readable book.”
-Susan Rubin Suleiman, Harvard University; author of Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature
“Enchanting….At the heart of this delicious book is Yalom the reader, whose fascination with the French way of love and pleasure in sharing her enthusiasms is highly contagious. Readers will want to run to the library and stay there for a year, reading everything she deconstructs.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)