“Groskop skillfully juggles memoir, biography, philosophy, and literary criticism to create a delightful tour through some of French literature’s greats.” —Madeline Miller, New York Times–bestselling author
Like many people the world over, Viv Groskop wishes she was a little more French. A writer, comedian, and journalist, Groskop studied the language obsessively starting at age 11, and spent every vacation in France, desperate to escape her Englishness and to have some French chic rub off on her. In Au Revoir, Tristesse, Groskop mixes literary history and memoir to explore how the classics of French literature can infuse our lives with joie de vivre and teach us how to say goodbye to sadness. From the frothy hedonism of Colette and the wit of Cyrano de Bergerac to the intoxicating universe of Marguerite Duras and the heady passions of Les Liaisons dangereuses, this is a love letter to great French writers. With chapters on Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, and of course Françoise Sagan, this is a delectable read for book lovers everywhere.
“Ms. Groskop is a skilled raconteuse who brings people—and the page—to life. She writes with a self-deprecating appreciation of the Frenchman or -woman manqué(e) that lurks in us all. You don’t have to be a savant to enjoy this book . . . Au Revoir, Tristesse will make a witty, seductive companion.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Groskop’s combination of her own memories, what the novels meant to her at different stages in her life, her description of the authors, along with her description of the novels, will have readers eagerly turning the book’s pages.” —Forbes