As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s no surprise that you have love on the brain. Maybe you’re deep in your Queen Size “home office” with your fiancé, or maybe you’re planning to preemptively delete your ex’s number in case you get one too many at the Zoom brunch. of your Galentine. Anyway, here are a few books exploring the French approach to love, written by experts, expats and Frenchies themselves.
1. Love: how the French talk about love
Pulitzer-nominated Franco-American journalist Stefania Rousselle has covered some of France’s most difficult experiences in recent history. Yet she was inspired to write a book about love. Love: how the French talk about love is a collection of HONY-style essays and photographs about love, based on nearly a hundred interviews with French people of all ages, races, sexualities and relationship status. Rousselle asked them a question: “What is love? The result was a vast and diverse quilt of experiences, happy and sad and complex and completely human. To buy here.
2. Covetousness in translation
You may know Pamela Druckerman of his bestseller Raising Babya guide to French parenting that has fueled a global conversation on parenting. Her other parenting books include Baby day by day and French children don’t throw away food. But his first book, Lust in Translation, focuses on a very different topic: infidelity. Druckerman travels the world and talks to sex researchers, sociologists, therapists, and everyday citizens to find out why people cheat. Although she visits several countries, including Russia, Japan and South Africa, there is a substantial chapter on the French attitude towards having a little something on the side. To buy here.
3. When in French: Love in a Second Language
4. How to be Parisian wherever you are: love, style and bad habits
Written as a collaboration between four remarkable parisian (Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas), How to be Parisian wherever you are is an intimate and irreverent look at the contradictions of modern French life. It’s a somewhat satirical spin on the self-help genre (including a chapter on tricking your lover into thinking you’re having an affair, and another titled “Parisian Snobbisms”), but it’s a way fun to swallow an afternoon on your terrace sipping two to six espressos. To buy here.
5. Love Parisienne: The French Woman’s Guide to Love and Passion
written by three parisian: Florence Besson, Claire Steinlen, and the aptly named Eva Amor, Parisian love is a light-hearted relationship guide that covers everything from what to wear on a first date to what to do if you end up having an affair with a married man. It comes with song lists, movie recordings and romantic Parisian haunts to discover. To buy here.