Oh, this book was good. Short and sweet, witty and endearing, poetic and sarcastic, I read it completely through in an hour and thoroughly enjoyed every second. I couldn’t praise the four intelligent, hilarious women who got together to create this enough.
Always wondered how to be Parisian? Never fear, this book’s got you covered. From hangovers to fashion, lovers to dinner parties, it’ll take you through the sad, romantic world of being a Parisienne.
In a nutshell (and trust me, I know her well), I’d say the Parisienne is completely cuckoo!
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are
by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas
Format & Pages: Hardcover, 253 // Published: Sep 2, 2014
From four stunning and accomplished French women — at last — a fresh and spirited take on what it really means to be a Parisienne: how they dress, entertain, have fun and attempt to behave themselves.
In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The authors–Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas — unmarried but attached, with children — have been friends for years. Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic.
You will be taken on a first date, to a party, to some favorite haunts in Paris, to the countryside, and to one of their dinners at home with recipes even you could do — but to be out with them is to be in for some mischief and surprises. They will tell you how to be mysterious and sensual, look natural, make your boyfriend jealous, and how they feel about children, weddings and going to the gym. And they will share their address book in Paris for where to go: At the End of the Night, for A Birthday, for a Smart Date, A Hangover, for Vintage Finds and much more.
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are will make you laugh as you slip into their shoes to become bold and free and tap into your inner cool.
This writing was gorgeous. It wasn’t clear who was writing which sections, but I loved them all. The best part of the book is that it’s constantly making fun of its own subject, while also adding truthful little epiphanies of comedy and life every so often.
There is nothing more difficult than explaining humor. Nothing more boring, either. Humor is very particular, it has its own color and culture.
If you had to describe Parisian humor, you could say it is both cold and sarcastic. You would find it is prone to joyous despair, like paradox, and entertains a rather disillusioned idea of life and love (coupled with the certainty that they are both nevertheless worth it). Favorite humorous topics include the relationship between men and women, often from a sexual point of view, as well as the balance of power between the two. It is irreverent and touches on taboos without being completely scathing. It will not lapse into “jokes” per se, but it is omnipresent and used whenever, wherever possible. It is a snobbish humor, often with a bit of self-deprecation. Indeed, playing up the least flattering anecdotes about yourself is considered good taste. Amusing your friends by recounting your setbacks or embarrassments is a genuine sport, practiced by Parisians who otherwise do none, because laughing at yourself is better for you health than crying (especially in the absence of any other sport).
*quietly packs bags and flies to France*
No, but seriously. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect philosophy? Elegant, sophisticated, and dark, it makes sense. I want to be friends with these women, they sound amazing. If they really believe in what they write, then their conversations must be hilarious. “So, then I snorted from laughter so hard that I farted. Everyone was looking at me.” “Well, that’s not half as bad as when I walked up to my crush and asked him if his girlfriend had a girlfriend, meaning to ask him if he had a girlfriend.”
♥ Lovely photography
♥ Adorable sketches
♥ ALL THE QUOTES
♥ Inspiring feminist writing
♥ Sad at times
♥ Very sexual
♥ Will instinctively compel you to leave your family behind and travel to France because priorities
I adored this book, I really did. It was funny as hell, and I was enveloped in the world as soon as I starting reading it. If you’re looking for a spirit-lifting, entertaining piece of non-fiction: read this.
Anne Berest is the author of two novels and a biography of Françoise Sagan published this year; she also writes for television, film, and theater. Audrey Diwan became a scriptwriter after studying journalism and political science. She wrote the screenplay for Cédric Jimenez’s La French, with Jean Dujardin, and is now directing her first feature film; she is also editor-at-large for the magazine Stylist. Caroline de Maigret studied literature at the Sorbonne before moving to New York to model. She returned to Paris in 2006 to found her music label. De Maigret has been an ambassador for Chanel since 2012 and supports women worldwide through the NGO Care. Sophie Mas was born and raised in Paris. After graduating from Sciences Po and HEC, she started her own film company and now works as a producer in Los Angeles, New York, and São Paulo.
Does anyone else enjoy beauty/fashion/lifestyle books, or are they boring? Do you want to read this? And have you been/lived in France?