Author Event: Mark Greenside

Details
Date:

March 6

Time:

06:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Event Category:

Upcoming Events

Click to Register: Click to Register
Organizer

Napa Bookmine

Website: Organizer's Website
Venue

Napa Bookmine

1625 2nd Street, Napa, CA 94559

Napa, CA, US, 94559

Join us March 6 for this author event!

Author Mark Greenside will be in conversation with Alliance Française de Napa to discuss his books (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living and I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do).

This is a free event, but we appreciate your RSVP so we can plan for your attendance!

When Mark’s summer sojourn in France evolves into a long-term commitment involving the intricacies of property ownership and French bureaucracy, from the poste to the plombier, he returns to the Bay Area and immediately enrolls in a language course with his local Alliance Française.

The Napa chapter of this global organization has been bringing French language and culture to the valley since the 1980s, promoting the links between the land and traditions of France and those of our region via French classes, fêtes for French holidays, lectures, films, and other social events focused on French language, history, wines and food.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

(Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller! In the tradition of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, let the author of I’ll Never Be French introduce you to Brittany a world of color and flavor that most of us only fantasize about.

Every year upon arriving in Plobien, the small Breton town where he spends his summers, American writer Mark Greenside picks back up where he left off with his faux-pas–filled Francophile life. Mellowed and humbled, but not daunted (OK, slightly daunted), he faces imminent concerns: What does he cook for a French person? Who has the right-of-way when entering or exiting a roundabout? Where does he pay for a parking ticket? And most dauntingly of all, when can he touch the tomatoes?

Despite two decades that have passed since Greenside’s snap decision to buy a house in Brittany and begin a bi-continental life, the quirks of French living still manage to confound him. Continuing the journey begun in his 2009 memoir about beginning life in France, (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living details Greenside’s daily adventures in his adopted French home, where the simplest tasks are never straightforward but always end in a great story. Through some hits and lots of misses, he learns the rules of engagement, how to get what he needs—which is not necessarily what he thinks he wants—and how to be grateful and thankful when (especially when) he fails, which is more often than he can believe.

“This is my world, the Old World that is constantly new to me. I’ve been coming to France—Brittany—for more than twenty years now, and I’m still trying to master the art of French living. For a guy who likes to think he knows what he’s doing, it’s been an unexpectedly bumpy ride.”

Experienced Francophiles and armchair travelers alike will delight in Greenside’s exploring the practical and philosophical questions of French life, vividly brought to life by his humor and affection for his community.

I’ll Never Be French

In a story that stands above the throngs of travel memoirs, full of gorgeous descriptions of Brittany and at times hysterical encounters with the locals, Mark Greenside describes his initially reluctant travels in this “heartwarming story” (San Francisco Chronicle) where he discovers a second life.

When Mark Greenside—a native New Yorker living in California, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic—is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France in Finistère, or what he describes as “the end of the world,” his life begins to change.

In a playful, headlong style, and with enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside shares how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn’t speak the language or understand the culture. He gradually places his trust in the villagers he encounters—neighbors, workers, acquaintances—and he’s consistently won over and surprised as he manages to survive day-to-day trials. From opening a bank account and buying a house to removing a beehive from the chimney, he begins to learn the cultural ropes, live among his neighbors, and make new friends.

Until he came to this town, Greenside was lost, moving through life without a plan, already in his 40s with little money and no house. He lived as a skeptic who seldom trusts others and has an inclination to be alone. So when he settles into the rhythm of this new French culture—against the backdrop of Brittany’s streets surrounded by gorgeous architecture and breathtaking landscapes—not only does he find a home and meaningful relationships in this French countryside, he finds himself.

I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do) is both a new beginning and a homecoming for Greenside. It is a memoir about fitting in, not standing out; being part of something larger, not being separate from it; following, not leading. It explores the joys and adventures of living a double life. He has never regretted his journey and, as he advises to those searching for their next adventure, neither will you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Greenside holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protester, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. His stories have appeared in The Sun, The Literary Review, Cimarron Review, The Nebraska Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The New Laurel Review, Crosscurrents, Five Fingers Review, and The Long Story, as well as other journals and magazines, and he is the author of the short story collection, I Saw a Man Hit His Wife, as well as The Night at the End of the Tunnel Or Isaiah Can You See? and (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living. He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

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