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Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: The Mousetail Press (2011)
Love, Songs, War; L'Amour, les Chansons et la Guerre: A Memoir
by Colette Gauthier Myles
Set in Paris and its surroundings, Love, Songs, War begins with an 1811 letter in which we learn that a relative has just returned from the wedding of Napoleon. Zesty anecdotes about a great-aunt (a fashion model at the turn of the century) who eloped to New York to marry her sweetheart are followed by stories about the author's sometimes eccentric family. The core of the memoir begins with scenes of evacuation during World War II and goes on to describe everyday life under German occupation. Reading like a novel, the book chronicles the life of the family until the early fifties. The main character is Louis, the author's father, a newspaper printer, bon-vivant, ex-tour de France racer, a man whose moral integrity was impeccable. In spite of his often tragic life, Louis always carried on with optimism and songs. Popular songs, an integral part of the author's family life, are an important element of this memoir and are quoted in French and English. Using detailed pictures of everyday life, the author invites the reader to visit the homes of her relatives, sit at their table, and listen to them as they sing their songs in the warmth of family reunions. The memoir, written in a conversational style with a definite French flavor, is illustrated with a remarkable collection of old family photographs.
Picnic. Far right: the author's grandparents, 1900.
The author's mother and aunt, 1918.
The author and cousin, 1938.
Books In Preparation
To Be Published In 2012
A collection of drawings by artist Aaron Yava (Navajo, Tewa, Hopi) (1946-1996) compiled by his daughter, Vanessa Yava.
Whimsical poetry by a British-born resident of Sonoma.
Poetry, short stories and vignettes by San Francisco native Mani Whittaker.