Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meeting one of my Favorite authors - Tatiana de Rosnay!

Bordeaux, Mollat & a great evening!

In my last post, I shared some fun photos that I took during an evening trip into downtown Bordeaux.  What I neglected to elaborate on was the reason, my daughter and I were downtown.  We were going to see one of my favorite authors.  If you follow me on Instagram and facebook, you might have caught more about that evening.

Let me back up a little bit...I enjoy reading.  I don't always get tons of time to enjoy a good book - but when I find one I enjoy- I somehow always try to make time.  I also have to admit, it sometimes takes me weeks to finish a book - as I'm so tired as my head hits the pillow, that I only read a page or 2 and my eyes get heavy and off to dream land I go.  I have found over the years that even though I enjoy many different genres and authors - it's often a certain style of writing or how the author unfolds the story that will captive me.  For this reason, if I find an author that I like, I tend to find out what else he or she has written and devour all their books.

This is what happened a few years ago, when I found the book, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  I was riveted, captured and so drawn into the story, it's one of few books that I kept reading anytime I could find a few minutes.  I had picked it up as a summer reading book as we headed off on vacation (lucky for me, I wasn't trying to read this book, work full-time & juggle all the kids too!)  After reading that book, I looked for other books by her.  What I found out was she was actually a very well known European author, having been named one of the top 10 fiction writers in 2009 and currently, one of the top novelist of books read in France during the last 10 years.  I found her fascinating as she was bilingual having grown up in Paris & Boston and having both French & English parents. Even though, she had published 11 books in France since 1992.   At that time, her books were just starting to be published in the States and I would have to wait until 2010 for A Secret Kept & 2012 for The House I loved.  But wait I did and still find her stories and writing fascinating!!

So when I saw that she was coming to Bordeaux to speak at Mollat (Bookstore - equivalent to American -Barnes & Noble) I was thrilled.  I also decided it would be a great opportunity to have my oldest daughter meet a famous author too.  It worked out perfectly that she was speaking in the early evening - and would also be doing book signings.  So I picked my daughter up at after-school, and we headed downtown.

It couldn't have been a more perfect evening.  We were extremely fortunate to arrive early enough to meet her and have her sign a few books before she took a break to get ready to speak.

She was so easy to talk to - We spoke but French & English to her.  She seems happy to use her English, telling us that she usually doesn't get to speak too much English in Southern France.   Asked us where we were from in the States and shared with us she had lived in Boston.  Together, we all shared in our compassion for the people of Boston - knowing the bombing had taken place just a couple days before. She signed several books for us and even asked the sales person to find an English version of Sarah's Key for us.   Such a lovely woman and although brief, we will definitely remember our interaction with her.

We left her to go walk around a bit before she was speaking at 6 pm.  We then found out that the "salon" or living room where she was speaking was upstairs 4 flights.  Now, a little something about me - I don't like heights - well not exactly heights - that feeling of insecurity when on can see down too far.  I love beautiful views but - if getting up means I anything to do with an open staircase, or stairwell - I usually take an elevator!  I have narrowed this phobia down to it truly being a visual thing - I climb towers, I go up high buildings and look out, I have also been known to walk up bell towers - but in all of those cases - it was either an elevator or a solid - enclosed stairwell that got me up there.  So, as we entered the stairwell area to go up to the room where she was speaking ..this is a photo of the stairwell that I needed to climb up 4 flights!  It's a bit hard to tell from the photo - but it is only wide enough for 2 people abreast.   Deep breath, here.

Needless to say, I was really wanted to hear her speak - so I told my daughter - (who knows I'm uncomfortable, but doesn't really know that my feet sweat, my hands sweat, and I most often I just bow out gracefully in cases like this one.) that she was to walk next to me the whole way up to block my view of the center opening. She was just as happy as she finds it fascinating to look up, down & around as she climbs.  Thanks goodness for that!!

So we made it up and listened for about an hour - her talk was truly  fascinating.  We learned about how she started writing, why she writes in both English & French  (interesting to note she does not do her own translating).  A bit about her family heritage - French, English & Russian.  What she thinks about social media and staying connected with her fans.  She also spoke about making Sarah's Key in to a movie and the experience of working with the director and screenwriter.  She's excited about 2 more books being made into movies coming up.  She talked about being bilingual.  Even my oldest was glued to her chair truly enjoying the evening.

I have to say it was a wonderful evening to share with my oldest.  After the talk, my daughter & I headed out to have a bite to eat together.  I don't often get one on one time with my girls, so this was great.

Then to further confirm what a sweet caring person  Tatiana de Rosnay is...Click below and open up the comments for the photo.

americanmominbordeaux on Instagram

By the way  - if you are reading this blog with google reader - which will be stopping soon - You many switch over to Bloglovin.  This blog is now connected over at that site and they will also move all your currently read blogs over - once you open an account - it's free and easy and a way to keep reading up to date on all your favorite blogs in one place.  If you are already on bloglovin and do not currently follow this blog, feel free to click on the Eiffel Tower on the right side of this page to add it to your daily reads.  Thank you again for reading - until next time!


  1. No problems walking down the stairs?
    At least you had an enjoyable talk in between.

    1. Going down is better than going up...& the talk was so worth it!! Thanks for visiting - nice to hear from you - Hope the weather is nice out your way!

  2. What a treat for you - hero worship almost! Good that your daughter could share the experience too. I spent many a happy day in Bordeaux when we lived in nearby Cognac.
    Lovely blog.

    1. Thank you Craig for your nice comment. It's always nice to hear from new readers. We enjoy Bordeaux very much - so many things to discover and explore. Hoping to get up to Cognac area sometime soon - an area we have not explored yet.

  3. I know exactly what you mean about open stairways! I hate them.
    I don't know where the fear comes from but it's very real. If there is a scene in a movie or on TV where it's from a height I get a dizzy feeling and have to put my hand in front of my eyes....that's how extreme my fear of heights is. Maybe I should be hypnotized or something! My mother was the same way. I wonder if one inherits that phobia?

    1. I do feel there is some genetic link..as my mother also suffered from a milder fear & my brother has seemed to develop the same insecurity in relation to heights. I know I have gotten better over time, but I still avoid when I can. Happy to have had my daugther with me this time! Happy also that it seems so far none of my daughters have inherited this same fear...but who knows. Thanks for commenting - always nice to hear from readers.

  4. How wonderful! I really enjoyed that book. It broke my heart that the brother was locked in the house and they could not go back to get him. Then it broke my heart again when you realize how sad she had been all her life with the burden of what had happened to her brother. So happy you had the opportunity to meet her!


Thank you for reading and visiting my blog. Feel free to leave a comment - I love hearing from people!

Popular Posts