Flirting with French

How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart
by William Alexander

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“A delightful and courageous tale and a romping good read. Voila!” —Mark Greenside, author of I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do)

William Alexander is more than a Francophile. He wants to be French. There’s one small obstacle though: he doesn’t speak la langue française. In Flirting with...

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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Paperback


Number Of Pages 288

Publication Date 09/16/2014

ISBN 9781616200206

Dimensions 6.55 inches x 8.2 inches

“[Alexander] deals with a lot of pangs, yearnings and fears that readers, especially those around his age--57 when he set out to learn French--can identify with . . . The appeal of Flirting with French is not in the breathless descriptions of Paris or the bad puns in the chapter titles, but in the author’s amiable dunderheadedness as he delves into the culture, with all its confounding contradictions.” —The New York Times Book Review

“While language learners are a natural audience for this book, there is no prerequisite. Anybody who liked Alexander’s previous books or just likes to see an underdog try to beat the odds will enjoy this voyageur’s latest adventure.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Alexander presents himself as an apprentice, but the reader quickly discovers he is also a master teacher . . . Alexander even manages a highly readable gloss of Noam Chomsky's linguistic theory, a feat of intellectual distillation akin to ‘Jacques Derrida for Dummies.’” —The Wall Street Journal

“One of America's funniest writers . . . Très, très bien!" —Counterpunch

“A charming memoir by a passionate Francophile . . . Alexander's love affair with French, he concludes in this wry and warmhearted memoir, has reaped unexpected rewards.” —Kirkus Reviews

Flirting with French is hilarious and touching, all the way to the surprise ending. In this 'travelogue' about learning French, William Alexander proves that learning a new language is an adventure of its own--with all the unexpected obstacles, surprising breakthroughs and moments of sublime pleasure traveling brings.” —Julie Barlow, author of Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong

Flirting with French is far more than a fling; it’s a deep love affair. A blend of passion and neuroscience, this literary love affair offers surprise insights into the human brain and the benefits of learning a second language. Reading William Alexander's book is akin to having an MRI of the soul. A surprise delight that will ignite desire in every reader.” —Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of Sleeping Arrangements

— Review quotes