[UCP Books]: French Lessons: A Memoir by Alice Kaplan

A classic memoir of falling in love with language and learning turns 25


French Lessons

A Memoir

With a new Afterword

Alice Kaplan



Publication date: April 17, 2018  
International publication date: April 23, 2018 $17.00/£13.00



A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee

A New York Times Notable Book of 1993


“With a novelist’s eye for detail and a critic’s acuity, Kaplan has given us a rare and moving evocation of what it feels like—and what it means—to fall in love with a language not one’s own.”

New York Times Book Review


“I like this book. I like its intelligence and passion, its candor. . . . Above all I like the author’s willingness to put herself on the line.”

Los Angeles Times


“French Lessons, a memoir rich in the curious novelistic detail of childhood, is also a passionate record of an intellectual coming of age.”

Cathleen Schine, Newsday


“Alice Kaplan beautifully describes the intricate mixture of lust and embarrassment and voyeurism and submission and pride involved in immersing oneself in another language. . . . This girl’s own story—of a daughter, a spy in the house of French, a teacher and scholar—is imbued with a sense of the multiplicity of identity, and it gracefully tells us what Kaplan says French has taught her: ‘There is more than one way to speak.’”

Lisa Cohen, Voice Literary Supplement


Alice Kaplan is the author of French Lessons: A MemoirThe CollaboratorThe Interpreter, and Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, and the translator of OK, Joe, The Difficulty of Being a Dog, A Box of Photographs, and Palace of Books. Her books have been twice finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, once for the National Book Award, and she is a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She holds the John M. Musser chair in French literature at Yale University.



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