How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance

Marilyn Yalom (Author)

Product Details

Harper Perennial
Publish Date
October 23, 2012
5.4 X 1.2 X 7.9 inches | 0.66 pounds
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About the Author

Marilyn Yalom was a former professor of French and a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She was the author of widely acclaimed books such as A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, Birth of the Chess Queen, and, most recently, How the French Invented Love. She lived in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, psychiatrist and author Irvin D. Yalom.


"By the end of this book, it is hard not to feel both breathless and dowdy. Am I living sufficiently by my passions? Shouldn't my husband be making more declarations? Perhaps the French are on to something."--Pamela Druckerman, Wall Street Journal
"[An] amiable tour through changing French attitudes toward love during the past millennium....Engaging."--New Yorker
"Marilyn Yalom's new study, How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance, reaches beyond the stereotypes by focusing on literature, making an erudite, elegant, and charming case for France's love 'invention.'"--Los Angeles Review of Books
"This superbly realized and wonderfully engaging work of analytical cultural history creates a class by itself."--Booklist
"How the French Invented Love is absolutely marvelous, so lively and learned....Marilyn Yalom's book is a distinguished contribution to our experience of a great literature, as well as an endearing memoir."--Diane Johnson, author of Lulu in Marrakech and Le Divorce
"Seductive and fascinating. Marilyn Yalom is the perfect companion for this delightfully candid tour de l'amour."--Diane Ackerman, author of One Hundred Names for Love
"The author employs an enjoyably downright style, blending in her own experiences in France over the course of 60 years as well as the personal stories of French friends. . . . Her first-person confidences give this an engagingly informal tone."--Kirkus Reviews
"Marilyn Yalom combines a witty and conversational style with impressive erudition....[She] is no misty-eyed idealist when it comes to love, or to the French, but her personal involvement in the story is part of the charm of this highly readable book."--Susan Rubin Suleiman, Harvard University; author of Risking Who One Is: Encounters with Contemporary Art and Literature
"Enchanting....At the heart of this delicious book is Yalom the reader, whose fascination with the French way of love and pleasure in sharing her enthusiasms is highly contagious. Readers will want to run to the library and stay there for a year, reading everything she deconstructs."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Marilyn Yalom is a charming guide on an exploration of desire, romance, sex and passion ร  la franรงaise. Like a detective on a steamy case, Yalom digs through literature and life, uncovering the mysteries of l'amour. How the French Invented Love will surely seduce you."--Ellen Sussman, author of French Lessons
"Marilyn Yalom reclaims her enchantment with love stories from France. She explores the mysteries and complexities of love as they have been bequeathed by the French from centuries of their literature....She goes beyond the recognizable clichรฉs to offer a comprehensive study, a rich psychological and cultural survey."--Pierre Saint-Amand, Brown University; author of The Pursuit of Laziness: An Idle Interpretation of the Enlightenment