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An Amazon Best Book of September 2016: Lauren Collins was an expat from North Carolina, living in London, when she met and fell in love with the man who would eventually become her husband. Olivier hailed from France (in case the name didn’t give that away), and When in French chronicles Collins’s fascinating and often hilarious journey learning his native tongue. Along the way she discovers that this endeavor isn’t a simple matter of translating “I love you” to “je t’aime,” for example, and adding an enthusiastic haw-haw! at the end. In America, the meaning of love is vast. We are just as likely to express our extreme ardor for our partners as we are a bag of Cheetos. For Olivier, this sort of impreciseness was infuriating, which pointed to an important cultural difference that required careful negotiation. To say that When in French is mainly a meditation on language would be accurate (which I’m sure Olivier would appreciate). But that description makes it sound as boring as evidently Geneva is, and this memoir is anything but. You will laugh, you might even get misty-eyed, vous allez l’adorer. –Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review

“A linguistic love story…Lauren Collins captures the thrilling vertigo of trying to be yourself in a foreign language. She’s an expert storyteller and an excellent traveling companion.” —Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

“Lauren Collins is one of the smartest, most humane, most charming writers I know. Nobody is more observant of fine details, or more curious about the big picture. In When in French, we finally see her mad skills and effortless touch on display in a book-length memoir— a love story about a person, a language, and a whole form of cultural knowledge. Collins makes the world seem like a bigger, more effervescent, more intoxicating place. “—Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

“As a (sadly) monolingual American, I devoured Lauren Collins’s sharp, funny tale of bilingual romance and learning to speak French. Part acerbic love letter to that language and part meditation on language itself, When in French is so charming it made me want to learn French too.”—Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.: A Novel

“That anyone can actually communicate with anyone is a miracle. When in French is a hilarious and intelligent book that delves into the history of language, falling in love, and by the way includes words like Ribuy-tibuy. Gumusservi. Komorebi and Schnapsidee.”—Maira Kalman, author and illustrator of Beloved Dog and The Principles of Uncertainty

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