Julia Child was born in Pasadena, California. She graduated from Smith College and worked for the OSS during World War II; afterward she lived in Paris, studied at the Cordon Bleu, and taught cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, with whom she wrote the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). In 1963, Boston's WGBH launched The French Chef television series, which made Julia Child a national celebrity, earning her the Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966. Several public television shows and numerous cookbooks followed. She died in 2004. Alex Prud'homme is Julia Child's great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, My Life in France, which was adapted into the movie Julie & Julia. He is also the author of The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century, Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, and The Cell Game, and he is the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned: Why the Government Is Failing to Protect Us--and What We Must Do to Protect Ourselves. Prud'homme's journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and People.
Famed chef Child, who died in 2004, recounts her life in France, beginning with her early days at the Cordon Bleu after WWII. Greenberg, an actress for radio and commercials, does a fine job capturing Child's joie de vivre and unmatched skill as a culinary animateur. We hear Child's delight and excitement when she discovers her calling as a writer and hands-on teacher of haute cuisine; her exasperation as yet another publishing house rejects her ever-growing monster of a manuscript; and her joy at its publication and acclaimed reception after more than a decade of work. Child's opinionated exuberance translates remarkably well to audio, from her initial Brahmin-like dismissal of the new medium of television (why would Americans want to waste a perfectly good evening staring into a box, she wondered?) and frustration at her diplomat husband being investigated in the McCarthy-driven 1950s to her ecstasy about roast chicken and mulish insistence on the one correct method to make French bread at home. The seamless abridgment has no jarring gaps or abrupt transitions to mar the listener's enjoyment. Potential listeners should beware, however: this is not a book to hear on an empty stomach. Bon app?tit! Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 13). (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Exuberant, affectionate, and boundlessly charming . . . It
chronicles, in mouth-watering detail, the meals and the food
markets the sparked her interest in French cooking . . . It also
tells the story of the inspired partnership between Child . . . and
her husband, Paul . . . Every day in France brought a thrilling new
discovery, but Child's capacity for wonder and delight co-existed
with 'show me' skepticism . . . It is a wonderful picture of the
most successful American export to France since Benjamin
-William Grimes, The New York Times "In mouth-watering detail, her learning years in Paris and the stellar career that followed."
-Meeta Agrawal, Life Magazine "Captures her charm, warmth, and, above all, her determined and robust spirit . . . Anyone who has heard her on television will immediately recognize the frank, jovial, and embracing tone."
-John Skoyles, The Seattle Times/Associated Press
"What a joy . . . charming . . . inspiring."
-Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly
"Like a surprise nougat bursting from the center of a chocolate truffle, My Life in France also serves up her moving romance with the Renaissance man of her life . . . her husband, Paul Child."-Andrew Marton, The Philadelphia Inquirer