How does one prepare oneself to emerge from two years of sitting alone in a room and writing? In my case, one buys shoes.
The galleys of the book I labored over for those many months have landed on the desks of reviewers and readers. My mom has one. My old boss has another. The people who are in the book are starting to read the book. It’s enough to make a person a tad nervous.
So I went shoe shopping. And the moment I slipped my dainty heels into this pair, I knew that they were the ones. In these shoes, I can face down anyone (as long as I don’t have to stand for very long). Some authors have a media strategy. I have a shoe strategy.
If I needed more proof that Gary Shteyngart’s semi sci-fi book “Super Sad True Love Story” is a work of oracular genius, I got it today at Printemps department store in Paris. Shteyngart’s book is set in a fictionalized New York City, about 30 years in the future, when a few rich people live like gods, while the poor masses barely eke by. Today at Printemps I asked for directions to the restroom, and was sent to a fee-paying toilet boutique with designer loo paper (see photo) and an attendant who dashed in and out of the sleek stalls preparing them for the next fee-paying bottom. Ok, it was only 1.5 euros for this haute-toilette experience. And after the initial sticker shock, I settled in and enjoyed it. But I couldn’t escape the feeling that in the (near) future the rich will be having these sorts of privileged potty experiences, while the rest of us will be, well, left on the can.
The vertiginous 19th century staircase that leads to my daughter’s ballet class (actually not called “ballet” in French, but “danse classique”).
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“Marvelous... Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child-rearing.” —NPR
“’I’ve been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I’ve never made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible.” ” —Slate
“Self-deprecating, witty, informative... But however much she admires the ‘easy calm authority’ French parents seem to possess... will Druckerman manage it herself? Her efforts to do so add a compelling narrative to this fascinating study of French parenting.” — The Guardian (London)