Every month in France-Amérique, discover the best of French and Francophone culture in the United States.

Analysis of French-American news • French cultural events in the United States • Interviews with leading intellectuals • Fashion tips • Traditional and contemporary recipes • Reports from across the United States • Authors’ perspectives on America • Portraits of artists, entrepreneurs, and other French-American personalities • The best of Francophone literature translated into English • French movies and series in theaters and online • French habits and linguistic subtleties • Unique places to visit in France • And so much more…

January 2020

In this issue of France-Amérique, travel to Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, where one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century, Marguerite Yourcenar, lived until her death in 1987. You can also read our interviews with sociologist Raphaël Liogier (“Roman Polanski in the Wake of #MeToo”) and with filmmaker Ladj Ly in anticipation of the U.S. release of his movie, Les Misérables.

Featured Articles




Handbags as Works of Art

Bags shaped like mouths, hearts, alarm clocks, miters, and matchboxes combine with bright colors and ultra-discreet logos. The creations from Parisian leather craftsman Renaud Pellegrino, who previously worked with Yves Saint Laurent, are wearable works of art. Some of them are even part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris!



“I Am Pleased the Message Has Been Heard, But Now We Need Actions”

The first feature-length movie by Ladj Ly sounds the alarm on the explosive situation in the French projects and could represent France at the Oscars. The film follows a dramatic day in the life of three police officers patrolling Montfermeil (Seine-Saint- Denis) near Paris. In the movie, an act of police violence filmed by a local child sparks outrage. Les Misérables had a major impact in France and garnered generally positive reviews. It also won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Amazon has already acquired the rights to the film in the U.S., where it will be released in theaters on January 10, fifteen years after the 2005 riots in France.




Marguerite Yourcenar was one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century; she was the first woman to join the Académie Française, and wrote celebrated classics such as Memoirs of Hadrian and The Abyss. But few realize that these masterpieces were written in the United States, where Yourcenar moved after the war, became an American citizen, and lived until her death in 1987.



An Architectural Jaunt

In the late 1920s, Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier designed an astounding house supported by slender columns, or pilotis, some 20 miles west of Paris. Named Villa Savoye, the building was kept more or less secret by its original owners. But it stands as an icon of now-universal modern architecture.


Table of contents


French Pension Reform: Hardly a Long, Tranquil River. By Anthony Bulger


French Cultural Events in North America. By Tracy Kendrick


Editorial: Farewell to the World Police. By Guy Sorman

Raphaël Liogier: #MeToo Catches Up With Roman Polanski. By Guy Sorman

Young Leaders, a Bridge Between Two Elites. By Guénola Pellen


French Tech: France Dreams of Unicorns. By Sophie Fay

Museums: Soft Power, a French Diplomatic Arsenal. By Jean-Gabriel Fredet


Renaud Pellegrino: Handbags as Works of Art. By Clément Thiery

The Gentleman’s Style: Scarves. By Julien Scavini


Parfums de Marly: Hot on the Scent of Louis XV. By Clément Thiery


Recipe of the Month: King Cake Filled with Frangipane

A Louisianian Tradition with French Roots. By Clément Thiery

Wine Pairing. By Nicolas Blanc


Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet. By Tracy Kendrick

Ladj Ly and Les Misérables. By Vincent Dozol

Marguerite Yourcenar in America. By Prune Perromat

Philippe Lançon, Life After Charlie Hebdo. By Sophie Joubert


The Observer: Alphabet Soup and Abbrevianese: LOL or WTF? By Anthony Bulger

The Wordsmith: Liberté, égalité, parenté. By Dominique Mataillet


Architectural Jaunt at Villa Savoye. By Gabriel Bertrand

© Nora Rupp/Metropolitan Museum of Art

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