Have you ever visited France? If so, how warmly were you received by the French people? Today, we’re in the exquisite Champagne region of France and we’re delighted to be interviewing the author, Janet Hulstrand. Janet is an American living in the French countryside near Essoyes, the small village where Renoir had his summer home. Over the years, Janet noticed that many Americans tended to get off on the wrong foot in France because they didn’t know the basic rules of French etiquette, and they didn’t seem to understand quite how important those rules are in France. So she decided to help them by writing a delightfully amusing book, called Demystifying the French, How to Love Them and Make Them Love You. Stay tuned, to find out more!

Janet is a writer, editor, and teacher, living between France and the United States. She has been creating, directing, and teaching literature courses for the Education Abroad programs at Hunter and Queens Colleges of the City University of New York in Paris, Hawaii, Florence, and Cuba since 1997. She teaches literary and cultural classes at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C. and she also leads book groups at the American Library in Paris. Janet’s articles and essays have been published in Bonjour Paris, France Revisited, the Christian Science MonitorInternational Educator, Smithsonian.com, and many more publications. Be sure to tune in today, to find out what Janet has done to help Americans understand why the French are the way they are.

Show highlights:

  • Janet discusses what motivated her to write a book.
  • Janet explains how she ended up moving to the French countryside.
  • Over the years, she has watched Americans get off on the wrong foot in France.
  • Janet explains why Americans are sometimes not received very warmly by the French.
  • In her book, Janet shares the perspectives of several other people, as well as her own.
  • Learning to speak French can be very challenging.
  • The way the French greet people can really stress foreigners out!
  • Janet talks about the time when France started to feel like home for her.
  • Learning to respect the land you live in.
  • “No” doesn’t always mean “no” to the French.
  • Why you need to let the French help you solve a problem.
  • Some advice for Americans who want to move to France.
  • Janet talks about her inspirational Writing from the Heart workshops that aren’t really workshops.
  • Janet loves to go to Paris very often!
  • You can have some delightful interactions with most of the Champagne makers in Janet’s area.

Links and resources:

Janet’s website

Recommended book: The Bonjour Effect, The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow

Champagne Richardot in Loches-sur-Ource

Champagne Cristian Senez in Fontette