An Alliance Française Panel Discussion: Demystifying the French, Round 2

February 8, 2022 at 8:00 am 4 comments

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a lively discussion about Demystifying the French with three friends and colleagues, all fellow American observers of life in France, thanks to the wonderful Fédération des Alliances Françaises USA. For a little more than an hour we answered questions from the audience, and talked about everything from the unfortunate (and unnecessary) cultural clashes that can occur when Americans visit France (due to a lack of understanding each other’s ways), to the importance of meals in French life, to differences in the way we view friendship, to whether or not Emily in Paris got anything right–among many other things. Here’s the recording, for those who would like to see it. Pour yourself a glass of wine, prepare a plate of cheese and bread, sit back, and enjoy!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the U.S. and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and is currently working on her next book, A Long Way from Iowa: A Literary Memoir.

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A Green Start to the New Year A Busy Week in Paris

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rosemary Deans  |  May 29, 2022 at 1:28 am

    I just stumbled on this panel discussion. It seems my path has crossed yours again, Janet. You might recall that I wrote to you last year telling you of my husband’s uncle who is buried in Essoyes. I found this discussion to be so Interesting and thought each panelist was delightfully engaging. I’m so glad I saw this. We Canadians also have much to learn about travelling in France. Post COVID, we are finally planning a trip back to France, which is still a long way off – May of 2023. We are definitely planning a night or two in Troyes and will spend a day in Essoyes. Thank you again for your insights on being a tourist in France.

    • 2. Janet Hulstrand  |  May 29, 2022 at 6:03 am

      Thank you, Rosemary, I’m so glad you found the discussion interesting and helpful. Do let me know when you are in Essoyes if you have time to meet for a coffee or a glass of wine. I’d love to meet you and hear a bit more about your family’s connection with Essoyes.

      • 3. Rosemary Deans  |  March 10, 2023 at 2:53 pm

        Well, once again you appear in my social media. I just received a notice from my readers’ site that I might be interested in your new book. Of course I am interested. Why would I not be interested in a book about an inherited love of reading, writing and travel! My husband (and some friends) are going to be travelling from Paris to Troyes on May 18th. It is a whirlwind stay with one overnight and back to Paris the next day. If you are in France at that time, perhaps we could rent a car, drive to Essoyes and say hello!

  • 4. Janet Hulstrand  |  March 11, 2023 at 7:08 am

    Hi Rosemary, I would love to meet you and your husband and friends, and it looks like I will probably be in Essoyes at the time you are coming to Troyes. (Good choice, by the way, Troyes is a wonderful place to visit!) Squeezing in a drive to Essoyes might be a bit tight but if you can manage it I’d love to meet you. Please do keep me posted, okay? Best to communicate by email, I check my email more frequently than the comments on my blog. I look forward to maybe meeting you in May, thanks so much for reaching out.


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