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Dreaming In French

abstract:In Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, National Book Award finalist Alice Kaplan traces the experiences of Jacqueline Bouvier, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis during the periods early in their adult lives that each lived in Paris.

Bouvier had grown up under a family myth of having descended from French royalty, complete with the habit of speaking only French at mealtimes; although the royalty bubble soon burst, Jackie--who was still pronouncing her own name in the French fashion--found a rich intellectual world in France, as well as a sense of elegance and presence that would come to define her personal social, professional and sartorial style. Sontag went to France during graduate school at age 24, leaving behind a husband and young son. Her French was poor, but her social life in the city was rich, and what it taught her about human sexuality and her own passions informed her work from her dissertation until her death. Davis, like Bouvier an undergraduate studying abroad, spoke French fluently but found herself navigating alien racial terrain as the only black student in her study abroad program, which took place as bombings tore apart her

article:

April 10, 2012
— home town of Birmingham, Ala. Davis's political action was motivated in part by these tensions; when she faced murder charges several years later, France produced many of her strongest supporters.

Each woman went to Paris with a dream and emerged with a political reality often far different from her fantasy--but one that, in each case, magnified her strongest attributes. Dreaming in French is a perfect harmony of coming of age tales, French culture and political history. --Dani Alexis Ryskamp, blogger at The Literary Cricket

Discover: The subtle and engaging connections in the Parisian experiences of three prominent American women.

 

 

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