French FridaysMy (almost) French Life

#FrenchFridays: Discovering Marc Levy

marc-levy-booksI honestly don’t remember when I bought my first Marc Levy book. I remember which book it was, “Et Si C’était vrai” and I know I was in France… the detail isn’t really important. What is important is that into the first page I fell in love with the story and devoured the book staying up late to finish it in record time.

Marc Levy’s books were the first books that I delved into in French, when I was starting to really understand French; which means I could read most of the book without relying on a dictionary by my side.

Marc-Levy-and-Diana-LimongiLevy quickly became my favorite author. My (then soon-to-be) mother-in-law and I bonded over our love of his books. When I’d come over she would put one by my nightstand… I’ve read many and though I have enjoyed all of the ones I have read, my favorite one is probably “Les Enfants de la Liberté (which is available in English!) a story about a group of teenagers during WWII who were refugees in France but who were part of the French Resistance against the Nazis, inspired by Levy’s own father’s experiences during WWII.

A couple of years ago I got the chance to meet Mr. Levy at the Taste of France in Bryant Park. I felt like I was meeting a movie star and I couldn’t even speak in French! He signed a copy of Les Enfants de la Liberté for me (this one in English) and I also got my mother in law a signed copy of one of his books, probably the best gift I’ve ever gotten her.

Marc-Levy-Albertine-NYEarlier this week, Marc Levy was at Albertine Book Store signing his new book, Elle et Lui. Braving the rain I made my way from the Village all the way to 79th Street to hear him once again. During his interview I learned some fascinating facts about Mr. Levy. For example, he wrote his first book at 37, after several different careers. He wrote the book for his son (he didn’t intend for it to be published) and an editor ended up loving it and the rest is history. Today, he’s the most read French author in history. His books have been translated to 49 different languages, and some of them have been made into movies, most notably his first book, Et Si C’etait Vrai which is “Just like Heaven” with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo (which, I own bien sûr!)

He talked about the writing process and how he becomes submersed in his writing for months until his book is done. Listening to him inspired and and made me think, “Maybe one day I will write a novel.” If he started at 37, I have a few years to start! Marc Levy’s interview  was inspiring; it reminded me that it is never to let to reinvent oneself and  you never know what may happen if you take a risk.

Thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, you can watch Marc Levy’s interview here:

I invite you to check out Marc Levy’s books on Amazon.

For more information on Marc Levy, check out this great piece on the Wall Street Journal and his personal site: Marc Levy.

If you’re a Marc Levy fan, tell me what is your favorite book? I can’t wait to read all of them! 

Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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