A Long Way from Iowa Launches at The Red Wheelbarrow, Paris

May 2, 2023 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

With my friend (and bookseller extraordinaire) Penelope Fletcher, at the launch of A Long Way from Iowa: From the Heartland to the Heart of France.

I stated on my Facebook page not too long ago that having my book launch at The Red Wheelbarrow bookstore in Paris was a longtime dream come true, but that is not strictly accurate.

The truth is I never really dreamed of having a book launch at a bookstore in Paris, at least not until fairly recently. Not until I became friends with Penelope Fletcher, the manager of my very favorite English-language bookstore in Paris (and in my opinion the very best one too).

Penelope is what every indie bookstore manager should be: a voracious reader with boundless love and enthusiasm for books and writers, and a passionate interest in putting the right readers together with the right books. (Being possessed of abundant energy and indefatigable persistence and determination is helpful too. 🙂 )

I could go on and on about Penelope’s talents, skills, and excellence as a bookseller, but perhaps I will save that for another post. For now let me just say that she has become a good friend, and a faithful supporter of my work, and I am deeply grateful for that.

Anyway. So it is that I found myself living that dream come true last night, at The Red Wheelbarrow in Paris. Here are a few photos of the event.

And so this book, a labor of love that I worked on off and on over a period of many years, is finally out in the world–and on the shelves at The Red Wheelbarrow as well as other bookstores (for example at my favorite Washington DC bookstore, Politics and Prose), and online as well. You can learn a bit about the book here, and I hope you will be interested enough to buy it. I hope even more that you will like it (and that if you do, you will write an online review of it). These things help authors so much!

The best thing about the event, at least for me, is that it was a wonderful mix of friends, and people I’d never met before. (The best thing for Penelope, I imagine, is that almost everyone who was there for the reading bought the book!) And I think it was fun for everyone that I had brought one of my favorite champagnes from the CĂ´te des Bar (which is where I now live) to celebrate the event.

There is one more best thing about the event for me. And that is that both of my sons were there, with their very nice girlfriends. Nothing could have made the event more special for me.

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between the US and France. She is the author of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You, and  A Long Way from Iowa: From the Heartland to the Heart of France.

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