If you are looking for locally based Anglo writers to add to your summer reading list you can find two under the same roof and start your search with their sites listed here. Clair and Jeremy could be described as an enthusiastic, friendly and eclectic couple with a gift for storytelling. Their lives have given them plenty of material to work from. They first moved from London to Saint Clement de Riviere, just outside Montpellier, in1992 and they have been living there ever since. They are both published non –fiction writers. Jeremy has been writing as a professional since the early 80s whereas Clair, a career International ballet dancer, has just recently published her first book. It is an autobiographical account of her years with the National Ballet of Iran and her experiences from her previous marriages (she was married twice with same person prior to meeting Jeremy) to an Iranian Muslim in the time leading up to the over throw of the Shah. The title is ‘Romance and Revolution: A Leap of Faith at the Iranian National Ballet. A description can be found at this site.
Jeremy is originally from Essex and Clair from South Africa. They met in London and shortly after having there second child moved to the South of France, seduced by its climate. Jeremy, a self-confessed Francophile, had been to Montpellier previously as a student. When they compared the regions in the South of France this one seemed to have the right ingredients without being expensive or “snooty” like the Cote D’Azur. Their two children benefited from English being spoken at home and having their schooling in French. Given the number of teacher’s strikes at the time, they opted to put their children in private Catholic school (L’Assomption and La Merci) and they were pleased with the opportunities it gave their now multilingual and successful adult children.
Writing magazine articles as a free lance journalist has permitted Jeremy to discover the richness of this region and other parts of France. Most of the writing he does now deals almost exclusively with France and in particular this part of the South. He has written for diverse publications including many in-flight magazines and his local topics stretch from an English perfumer setting up shop in St. Guilhem Le Désert to interviewing an ex governor of Hong Kong in his new home in Aveyron. It is not though, his gourmandise that has brought him to the region. In spite of the fact that his journalism has brought him taste dishes prepared personally by Joel Roblechon (voted chef of the century) Jeremy says he prefers having an Indian Kebab on Rue Maguelonne with a cold drink to satisfy his “plebeian” palate. His books include subjects in France such as the Nazi occupation of Paris and the story of a British family’s trials and tribulations establishing themselves as winemakers in ‘Swastika over Paris’ and ‘A vineyard in the Dordogne’ respectively. You can find more of Jeremy’s articles and book list, with their descriptions, on his site.
Also he has created a publishing company with more information: link
For Clair, settling into life in the south of France was complicated by the fact that she was still very active in the International Ballet scene, including the English National Opera, and their youngest was only 9 months old when they first arrived. The early days of French life were divided between Saint Clément De Rivière and short contracts in London and abroad. This is something which may be a familiar theme for many other Anglo couples who have moved to France. Overtime she has worked with the ballet association in her village and occasionally, like her husband, as an English teacher. Clair has happily settled in to village life, even if she continues to move around and have outside interests. Her favourite local spot for noshing is the “kosher” mussel restaurant ‘Chez Tatel’ in La Grande Motte. Currently, in addition to promoting her recently published book, Clair and Jeremy spend some time each year with the IDF, which as Clair describes it, is like a sort of ‘Dad’s Army’ in Israel. It is an army unit organised on an entirely voluntary basis designed to aid the regular Israeli army.
The next project on the horizon for Jeremy and Clair is doing talks on cruises, which seems perfectly in keeping for this semi itinerant storytelling couple.
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