France Is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child


Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Thames & Hudson
Publish Date
9.1 X 1.0 X 9.7 inches | 2.6 pounds
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About the Author

Alex Prud'homme, Julia Child's grandnephew, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other publications. He is the author of The Cell Game and the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.

Katie Pratt is a photography curator. Her parents were among Paul and Julia Childs's closest friends.


Few food icons have maintained a hold on culinary obsessives' imaginations like Julia Child... For a more intimate portrait of Child's real life, look to this new collection of rarely-before-seen black-and-white photographs taken by her husband Paul that chronicles their adventures in Paris and the French countryside, culinary and otherwise.
To see [Julia Child's] bare legs splayed on a rooftop, eating and laughing with friends, felt like meeting an entirely different person--a person you immediately want to get drunk and make a clafoutis with... But the book is so much more than black and white slides of a family vacation... Through Paul's photographs you see Julia 'before she was Julia, ' and it's tons of fun.
[Paul Child] was a master of light, capturing the subtle details of shadows and highlights, creating photos rather than taking them... Julia makes many appearances in the book and is clearly his muse.
[Paul's] black-and-white images show Julia atop Parisian staircases, and cooking among friends. He also took pictures of Paris's landscape -- rooftop views and picturesque city storefronts... The intimate images chronicle Julia's discovery of French cooking and the French way of life, and show candid moments of the chef at work in the kitchen.
Fans of Julia Child will certainly enjoy this intimate view of the French Chef and her earliest years in the kitchen. Photographers may appreciate Paul Child's work as it captures midcentury France with charming simplicity. Carefully composed and with a photographer's keen eye, Paul's black-and-white photos illustrate the personal stories of the couple's adventures. More than 200 images of architecture and city street life are shown alongside pictures of Julia and their friends.
A labor of love, about a love affair... It's extraordinary to see a collection of photographs in which a fiercely talented and accomplished woman is presented with humor, admiration, and love. Julia called Paul 'the man who is always there.' He took pictures at every turn, leaving a record of the streets of Paris and Marseille, of his wife, and of his own ghostly, beloved presence, reflecting the light that she cast.
While it seems we've already seen photographs of every centimeter of Paris from every angle, it's a pleasure to look at the postwar city through Child's viewfinder. A trained draftsman, painter and lithographer, he had strong theories about composition and light, as well as a desire to distill 'some aspect of each place, ' whether it be fishermen on the Seine, geometrically framed by the overlapping arches of a bridge, or an old woman unwittingly anchoring an angular shadow in the South of France. As accomplished as the photographs are, and as engaging a character as Paul Child is revealed to be, the real draw here will undoubtedly be his intimate portraits of Julia Child before she was, well, Julia Child. What ultimately makes this enjoyable celebration of his work an important part of the Child archive is that it illuminates the third side of that fabled triangle, connecting us to his love of Julia - and France.
France is a Feast shows off Paul Child's accomplished photos of Julia Child and postwar Paris.
France Is a Feast showcases Paul Child's black-and-white photography, and offers the most complete biography of Julia Child's husband to date... A "visual extension" of Julia's memoir... [France is a Feast] features more than 220 black and white photos from Paul's lens, plus the most detailed biography to date about the man behind Julia Child.
France is a Feast lives up to its name, presenting a rich treasure-trove of photography, biography, history and culinary lore... While Paul's arresting, artful images offer a fascinating glimpse of the couple's life in France between 1948 and 1954, it's the photos of Julia that are strikingly intimate: Julia kneeling near her cat in the couple's apartment; her nude silhouette in front of a sunlit window in Florence; Julia talking on the phone, with only her long, outstretched legs visible, but her warm, hearty laugh so easy to imagine.