My Life in France



A charming book, told in her own words, that captures the love and affection that Julia Child had for France and the influences that France had on her.

Julia Child singlehandedly created a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching. Julia’s unforgettable story – struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took them across the globe – unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.

Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II in Ceylon and China, where she met Paul Child. After they married they lived in Paris, where she studied at the Cordon Bleu and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston’s WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made her a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004. | Alex Prud’homme, Paul Child’s grandnephew, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. He is the author of The Cell Game and the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

“Delightful and ebulliently written. . . . Her joy just about jumps off the book’s pages.”
The Christian Science Monitor

“Lively, infectious. . . . Her elegant but unfussy prose pulls the reader into her stories.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Captivating. . . . Her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.”
San Francisco Chronicle