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Paris, the storybook capital of romance—of strolls down cobblestone streets and kisses by the Seine—may not be the ideal location to mend a wounded heart. But pragmatic professional writer Anna, who has been unlucky in love in L. Bilingual and blessed with dual citizenship, she seeks solace in the delectable pastries, in the company of old friends, and in her exciting new job: Intrigued by the story, and drawn in by the mystery behind the book, Anna soon finds herself among the city's literati—and in the arms of an alluring Parisian—as she resolves to explore who she is.

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Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris

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International Customers If you are located outside the U. About Product Details Praise Paris, the storybook capital of romance—of strolls down cobblestone streets and kisses by the Seine—may not be the ideal location to mend a wounded heart. HarperCollins e-books On Sale: Compulsively readable, funny, and wise. Marsot knows her French, she knows the French, and she knows the human heart.

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Run out and buy immediately! She writes, with intelligence and passion, and this story pulses with life and language.

Marsot succeeds in immersing the reader in French culture and mode de vie, and her ruminations on language in French and English are intelligent and engrossing. Recommended for all fiction collections and for fans of sophisticated chick lit. Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo.

'Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life & Love in Paris,' by Vanina Marsot

Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day. To nurse her wounded heart, she flees to Paris, keys to her aunt's empty apartment in hand. Courtesy of her French father, Anna has dual citizenship; she knows the language and the city, and she has friends there. When she needs a job, the owner of a bookshop near the Palais du Luxembourg hires her to translate into English an erotic roman a clef by a well-known man whose identity is to remain a secret from her.

So assiduously guarded is the text that it's doled out to her a chapter at a time.

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To us, it becomes a book within a book, and we watch as Anna confronts the issues that bedevil anyone trying to fully and richly convey in one language something that is said in another. With an American translator as its heroine and an intrigue about authorship at its center, "Foreign Tongue" could hardly be more enamored of literature and the nuances of language.


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  • When those things are somehow concerned with sex and affairs of the heart, so much the better. It's a spirit perfectly captured by the epigraph to an early chapter, a question posed in French by novelist and critic Frederic Beigbeder, fluidly translated by Marsot: For Marsot, who splits her time between Los Angeles and Paris and has worked as a translator of television and film scripts, translation is more than a subject. It's a task she sets herself here, studding "Foreign Tongue" with French words and passages.

    Foreign Tongue - Vanina Marsot - E-book

    She manages, rather astonishingly, to make her meanings clear to readers who don't speak the language while avoiding the trap of over-explaining to those who do. But Anna is a bit of a rube at love, easily taken in by charm and good looks, willing to ignore what common sense tells her she ought at least to investigate. There is, for example, Olivier's unhealthily avid interest in the novel she's translating.

    And is he still involved with the famous, older, married actress he's directing in a play, even if he says their romance is through? Anna's avoidance of confrontation enables Marsot to sustain such ambiguities and draw out suspense as she sprinkles the narrative with red herrings -- about Olivier, about the anonymous author and his novel and about the strange behavior of Anna's closest friend in Paris, an editor in his 60s whom she long ago nicknamed Bunny.