Valerie Karenina

Valerie Karenina

She had it all. Valérie Trierweiler was beautiful.  She was a political journalist for Paris-Match.  She divided her time between a home in the country in L’Isle Adam, forty kilometers from Paris, and her high-profile work in the capital.  She was married to a fellow 

The Attack of the Giant Lobsters

The Attack of the Giant Lobsters

The ministers of the French government are housed in the great hôtels of Paris, the 18th century residences built by the nobility to escape from the king’s oppressive presence in Versailles.  They are lavish homes, with separate wings that lend themselves to a division of 

The DSK Affair

The DSK Affair

On May 14, 2011, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (known as DSK), powerful head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was taken into custody at JFK just before his return to Paris. An experienced and popular leader of the Socialist Party in France, he had been about to 

Unnatural Disasters: Migration, Senegal, Europe

Unnatural Disasters: Migration, Senegal, Europe

Review of La Pirogue (Senegal/France, 2012), directed by Moussa Touré. Review of Anna Badkhen, Fisherman’s Blues: A West African Community at Sea (New York: Riverhead Books, 2018). France was in Senegal beginning in 1677, when they seized the island of Gorée in Dakar’s harbor as 

Daewoo

Daewoo

I was recently reading Dominique Manotti’s The Lorraine Connection for possible use in one of my classes.  (Can’t assign it; too much sex.) It’s a good example of the contemporary French polar–noir, political, cynical, a mystery novel that grafts fictional characters onto well known events 

The Blue Room

The Blue Room

There is a scene in The Blue Room when the protagonist, named Julien Gahyde in the film, pulls back the shutters in the darkened hotel and looks at the sunlit square below.  It’s full of light and life, in contrast to the claustrophobic room in