The Novel Kitchen is now open! Please stop by any day of the week 11:30am to 7:30pm to enjoy tantalizing artisanal foods and beverages.

Learn More

Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France

Winner of the French Heritage Literary Award

A beguiling memoir of a childhood in 1950s France from the much-admired New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank


"Like the castle, [Carhart's] memoir imaginatively and smoothly integrates multiple influences, styles and whims."The New York Times

                                  
For a young American boy in the 1950s, Fontainebleau was a sight both strange and majestic, home to a continual series of adventures: a different language to learn, weekend visits to nearby Paris, family road trips to Spain and Italy. Then there was the château itself: a sprawling palace once the residence of kings, its grounds the perfect place to play hide-and-seek. The curiosities of the small town and the time with his family as expats left such an impression on him that thirty years later Carhart returned to France with his wife to raise their two children. Touring Fontainebleau again as an adult, he began to appreciate its influence on French style, taste, art, and architecture. Each trip to Fontainebleau introduces him to entirely new aspects of the château's history, enriching his memories and leading him to Patrick Ponsot, the head of the château’s restoration, who becomes Carhart’s guide to the hidden Fontainebleau.
          What emerges is an intimate chronicle of a time and place few have experienced. In warm, precise prose, Carhart reconstructs the wonders of his childhood as an American in postwar France, attending French schools with his brothers and sisters. His firsthand account brings to life nothing less than France in the 1950s, from the parks and museums of Paris to the rigors of French schooling to the vast château of Fontainebleau and its village, built, piece by piece, over many centuries. Finding Fontainebleau is for those captivated by the French way of life, for armchair travelers, and for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a place they want to visit over and over again.

The son of an air force officer, Thad Carhart grew up in a variety of places, including Washington, D.C.; Fontainebleau, France; Minneapolis; Amherst, Massachusetts; and Tokyo. After graduating from Yale, he worked for the State Department as an interpreter. His first book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, appeared in 2000, published by Random House. Across the Endless River, a historical novel, came out in 2009 with Doubleday. He lives in Paris.

ISBN: 9780143109280

ISBN-10: 9780143109280

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: 05/16/2017 - 12:00am

On Sale: 05/16/2017 - 12:00am

Pages: 304

Language: English

Categories

Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

Travel / Europe / France

Family & Relationships / Life Stages / School Age

More by Thad Carhart

  • Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France Cover Image
  • Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France Cover Image
  • Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France Cover Image
  • Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France Cover Image
  • Across the Endless River Cover Image
  • Across the Endless River Cover Image
  • The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier Cover Image