Bonjour France!

Dear worldly reader,

I wish I could say these are the crepes I cooked, but it didn't cross my mind to take a photo of them at the time, and in truth they weren't this pretty.

I haven’t made crepes in years. Maybe decades. When I was in high school French classes with my brother-in-law Dan, I think we went through a phase of making lots of crepes topped with strawberries and cream. But it’s been a long time.

So it was a strange coincidence that the other night I spontaneously decided to cook crepes for the family. I don’t think our daughters had ever had them. I flipped the hot crepes out of the pan and onto their plates, and they quickly spread them with butter and syrup.

The second coincidence is that my husband and I had decided to get serious about  our passports, just in case any travel opportunities arose. We had the applications printed out that evening ,and after we ate crepes we started filling them out.

Why is this all such a coincidence? Because the next morning I got an email from my French editor, Deborah Druba with Fleuve Noir.

“We have just heard that Festival America, a very prestigious and influential festival held every two years in Vincennes near Paris is inviting you for next year’s edition.”

And then I opened the attachments and read the invitation. The Festival America brings writers from North and South America to France for a celebration that in past years has included authors like Margaret Atwood, Richard Ford, Donna Tartt, Tobias Wolff, Barbara Kingsolver, Chang Rae-Lee, Chuck Palahniuk … this is where I started to swoon.

In Vincennes, on the eastern side of Paris, we organize four days of readings and panels, a “café littéraire” and a book fair but also movies, concerts and exhibitions in order to celebrate the wealth and diversity of literature coming from an entire continent. Thousands of people attend this event which gets mass press and media coverage.

So it appears I will be going to France in September. And, when I informed my UK publicist Samantha Eades, we discussed the possibility that I might be able to stop over in London and for the first time meet people with Headline Review, my publisher there. Perhaps in this letter I sound calm and accepting of this turn of events, but in fact I have been dancing around the house for two days straight.

My only worry is my poor French. But my friends with Little, Brown & Co. pointed out that I surely remember the key phrases. “Une biere, s’il vous plait.” And “… des gateaux! Et du fromage! Et du pain au chocolat!” And, of course, “Non, je suis CANADIENNE” or at least “Je suis Alaskan.”

So now my only question — why didn’t I cook crepes before now?

Santé !



18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Behnke
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:40:51

    Oooh la la! (I don’t know any French, that’s the only thing I can think of to say right now!). I’m so thrilled, Eowyn!

  2. Cynthia Herrin
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:47:57

    LOVED it! Especially the last sentence!!! Congratulations! I know you ALL are so excited!

  3. Sarah davis
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:48:12

    They sound lovely Shame im a celiac wheat free ones are a bit heavy

  4. mrs r
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:54:10

    Oh my gosh! How wonderful!!! That’s so exciting, Eowyn!

    Now you need to make some Greek moussaka, Spanish paella, a big pot of minestrone, some Turkish delight and a vat of Swiss fondue! Top it off with some good German beer and that’ll get you partway around Europe. =)

  5. Sue Mathis
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:57:01

    How exciting! I am so blessed for you that I don’t have words. I had a friend from France once, and every year at Christmas, he and his family would drive around and look at all the Christmas lights people would put up. If a light display was especially awesome, he would say, “Oooh la la!” Well, “Oooh la la! to you, Eowyn!

  6. Nance
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 09:59:57

    Oui!! Believe it or not, my minor is in French . . . but I don’t remember much at all, unfortunately. =( Nonetheless, I am so very excited for you!!!!!

  7. AlaskaZen
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 10:07:33

    Eowyn, how exciting!! I’m so happy for you. And you’re an inspiration.

  8. twomomswhohikeinalaska
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 12:19:15

    What amazing news!!!! 🙂 We are so thrilled for you! There’s a website you might like, if you like crepes and want ideas of other things you can try with them: Good Girls Go To Paris. It’s a creperie in Detroit that a former French teacher/France addict launched a few years ago. About 50 interesting sweet and savory crepe combinations on her menu. Yum! Would be fun to try some of *those* at staycation 🙂

  9. Christy Thomas
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 12:48:24

    WoW! Thrilling news! Congratulations!

  10. Suzie Althens
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 13:13:26

    Oh, Eowyn, I’m jumping up and down with you! How exciting. Thank you for sharing with us.

  11. Betty Rachel
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 20:32:05

    You are now, without a doubt, my most famous friend! Hurry pick another country you want to go to and cook that cuisine.

  12. Yaya
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 02:27:53

    En-fin, WOW!

  13. Carolyn McCann
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 16:42:27

    I love crepes and I make them once a week(Weight Watcher’ recipe) but I don’t anticipate an invite to France!! How wonderful for you. Your yaya is so very proud.

  14. Lidwien Biekmann
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 23:20:51

    Congratulations, Eowyn! And remember: France is not far from The Netherlands and we make delicious crepes as well:
    (Not to mention our famous Dutch herring, Dutch cheese, stamppot boerenkool…)

  15. Annie Aube
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 20:54:52

    I’m a little late, with work and all my schedual is crazy!! But I’m so happy for you!! That sounds so wonderful!! I’m sure you will all have a wonderful time!!

  16. RH
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 19:28:51

    S’il vous plais, je voudrais des crepes, des chocolats, des fromages, des vins (tip from David Sedaris: if you ask for something in the plural, you don’t have to remember the gender of the noun).
    Also useful: Ou est la lavatoire? J’ai mal a l’estomach.
    So exciting! Don’t try to eat France all in one sitting.

  17. Saya
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 12:28:20

    Hi Eowyn!

    I’ve just been offered Snow Child to review for Amazon Vine and I decided to come and look you up to find out something about it and you. I just want to drop in my tuppence and say, do, do come to London. I’ll come to see you. I’ll even help you speak English with a French accent. I’m good at accents. XD

  18. Valérie
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 08:11:47

    Wonderful! Now, I know where I will be able to have you sign my copy of ‘La fille de l’hiver!”. See you in September, hopefully!

%d bloggers like this: