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Florand, Laura (Laura M. Florand)

Florand, Laura (Laura M. Florand)

PERSONAL:

Married Sébastien Florand, 2002. Education: State University of West Georgia, B.A.; Duke University, M.A., 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Romance Studies, Duke University, 205 Languages Bldg., Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708. Agent—Kimberly Cameron, Reece Halsey North, 98 Main St., Ste. 704, Tiburon, CA 94920. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, journalist, poet, memoirist, short-story writer, translator, and educator. Duke University, Durham, NC, senior lecturing fellow in French. Member of Aloha Makana, a Tahitian dance performance group.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Fulbright grant, 1995-96; J.B. Duke Fellow, Duke University, 1997-2000; Instructional Technology Fellow, Center for Instructional Technology, 2003-04; Redesigning Oral Assessment grant, 2004-05; Duke Digital Initiative pilot grant for Intermediate French, 2005; Duke Digital Initiative Multisection grant for Intermediate French, 2006

WRITINGS:

Blame It on Paris (memoir), Forge (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Time Out Paris, Travelers' Tales, and Transitions Abroad.

SIDELIGHTS:

Laura Florand serves as a senior lecturing fellow in French at Duke University. In her memoir, Blame It on Paris, Florand tells the international, intercultural story of her romance, courtship, and wedding to Parisian Sébastien Florand. Living in Paris as a Fulbright scholar and Duke University graduate student, Florand was miserable and unhappy. Her despair was alleviated somewhat by Sébastien, the cute waiter she noticed at the bistro she frequented. On a dare, she invited him to a party and, to her surprise, he accepted. The two began seeing more and more of each other. The sophisticated, romantic Sébastien won Florand's heart, and when she returned to the United States and the end of her scholarship, they continued their romance long-distance. He visited her in Georgia, and while there, proposed. In the course of their romance, both in America and France, their adventures center on the sometimes gentle abutment, sometimes vigorous clashing of two distinct cultures, separated as much by language and attitude as geography. Four weddings—two in Georgia, two in France—are necessary before the relationship is finally, officially sealed. Cultural mishaps, culinary disasters, and language roadblocks add humor to the proceedings. Booklist reviewer Aleksandra Kostovski noted that it is how the two different "families take to each other, and to helping the newlyweds, that generates the sweet surprise" of the book. Florand's story "makes the most of the contrast between her small-town Georgia family and her husband's extended Parisian family," commented Sally Hicks in a profile of Florand on the Duke News & Communications Web site.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Blame It on Paris (memoir), Forge (New York, NY), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2006, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Blame It on Paris, p. 40.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2006, review of Blame It on Paris, p. 742.

Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2006, review of Blame It on Paris, p. 31.

ONLINE

Duke News & Communications Web site,http://dukenews.duke.edu/ (October 30, 2006), Sally Hicks, "Writing a Life," profile of Laura Florand.

Duke University, Department of Romantic Studies Web site,http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/Romance/ (December 20, 2006), biography of Laura M. Florand.

Laura Florand Home Page,http://www.lauraflorand.com (December 20, 2006).

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