The Franco-American Novel of Literary Globalism

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Carolyn A. Durham The College of Wooster

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In the opening pages of Diane Johnson’s Le Mariage, French bride-to-be Anne- Sophie d’Argel surveys the room in an attempt to determine the raison-d’être for the first of the many gatherings of Americans in Paris that she and her fiancé Tim Nolinger will attend in the chapters to come: “[W]as this a reception for … someone who had written a book, another book, about France? Zut, they produced them endlessly, Anglophones and their books. Even Tim threatened to write one.”1 As someone whose own behavior and beliefs are “patterned after books” (12-13), Anne-Sophie is no doubt particularly well positioned to provide not only a self-referential description of the book we are about to read but also to identify what has indeed become an ever broader and, of late, increasingly diverse cultural and literary trend.

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