Quote of The Week

"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessiccation."

Humphrey Lyttelton



A burst of writing activity this past summer produced two new books.

Not Quite a Stranger: Essays on Life in France is a collection of more or less humorous pieces recording my many visits to that beautiful and baffling country over a period of fifty years.

Lucky Man is a sort of non-memoir that replaced the memoir I had originally intended to write. The conventional “story of my life” turned out to be very dull when I set it down on paper. But other writings – mostly essays and miscellaneous non-fiction – have been accumulating like Radon gas in the basement for many decades. These I have arranged into thematic sections on learning, teaching, working, travelling and so on, in a kind of biographical tapas that the reading can dip into at any point, according to taste.

More details at Amazon.com and on the Books and Audio page of this site.

Topics of the Week

Writing Life: “Vanity Fair” finds a moral for writers in a bestselling book of 1678.

The Featured Essay: “An Innocent Abroad” takes a nostalgic trip back to the writer’s early experiences in Paris.


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