An American Jew in Paris, Dispensing Wisdom

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The American Library located several blocks from the Eiffel Tower on the on the Rue du Général Camou is perhaps the most American institution in Paris. The French general earned the honor of having a street named after him with a gallant performance during the Crimean war, but the American expatriate community of Paris had gathered to hear the tale of a different sort of bloody campaign. The room was packed with every variety of American living abroad, from the frumpy to the older gentlemen in blue blazers with golden buttons. On Monday evening, The New York Times columnist Pamela Druckerman was speaking on one of the final stops of the publication tour of her new memoir, There Are No Grown Ups: A Midlife Coming Of Age Story, which promised to expose the French secrets of aging gracefully and living well to mere mortals.

Druckerman’s previous book, Bringing Up Bébé, became an international sensation with its promise to teach people how to raise their children in the French manner. The new book is a sort of follow-up volume of life advice,  an extended version of many of the Times columns Druckerman has written on such existentially important issues as the feeling of growing old when Parisian women cease being referred to as “mademoiselle” at the corner bistro and enter into the “madam” stage of life.

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